New Delhi: On the eve of the budget session of Delhi Assembly, BJP on Tuesday sought resignation of Speaker Yoganand Shastri citing "serious remarks" made against him by the city Lokayukta on a complaint of alleged corruption and misuse of public funds.
Leader of Opposition in the Assembly VK Malhotra, in a letter to Lt Governor Tejendra Khanna, requested him to advise Shastri to step down "on moral grounds" in the wake of remarks by Lokayukta Justice Manmohan Sarin but the Speaker rejected the allegations and said he was ready for any kind of probe.
The complaint against Shastri has been filed by former Secretary of Delhi Legislative Assembly Siddharth Rao in which he made allegations of corruption and misuse of public funds and amenities to the tune of several crores of rupees by the Speaker.
Shastri vehemently rejected all the allegations and claimed that Rao was trying to "blackmail" him.
"He (Rao) is trying to blackmail me. These allegations are motivated and totally baseless. I am ready for any kind of probe. I totally reject the charges," he said.
Justice Sarin, in an order yesterday, dismissed the complaint against the Speaker for "want of jurisdiction" but brought it to the notice of Lt Governor for "action as deemed fit" while terming the allegations as of "serious nature".
"It was a matter of great shock and embarrassment for entire parliamentary fraternity when Lokayukta of Delhi Justice Manmohan Sarin passed very serious remarks in a judgement against the Speaker in a case of financial fraud and misuse of government machinery causing loss of more than rupees five crores defying all financial norms," Malhotra said in his letter.
In his order, Justice Sarin said it was desirable to ascertain veracity of the allegations as they are of "serious nature" and some of them constitute offences under the Indian Penal Code.
"Some of the allegations constitute offences under the Indian Penal Code, such as forgery for the purpose of cheating and, in fact, cheating the government, apart from abuse of power and position, financial and other irregularities," he said in the order.
The Lokayukta in his order said the original complaint was addressed to the Prime Minister`s Office which was referred to the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT).
DoPT referred the complaint to the Secretary to the Lt-Governor for necessary action and thereafter it reached the Office of the Chief Secretary of the Delhi Government from where it was forwarded to the Lokayukta for necessary action.
Malhotra said if the Speaker does not step down, then BJP "may bring a no confidence motion against him".
"We will not attend functions participated by the Speaker. We will not go to his chamber if he invites us. We will hold protest against him outside the House," he said.