New Delhi: Amidst all scandals and scams that the Congress is embroiled in, there is another controversy that seems to be staring the party in the face and Delhi’s Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit is bang in the middle of it. So much so, that the Lokayukta is now conducting an inquiry pertaining to the same.
According to an exclusive report by Zee News channel, it has emerged that the Delhi Chief Minister has been favouring her relatives while passing tenders amounting to Rs 12.5 crores for consultancy assignments doled out by Delhi State Industrial & Infrastructure Development Corp Ltd (DSIIDC) for construction and developmental works to be undertaken in some 300 Delhi schools.
The DSIIDC is the agency of the Delhi government for construction of houses for Urban Poor. The Zee News probe has found that the consultancy assignment was given to that firm in which one of the Chief Minister’s relative was working and also that the fees for the same was pegged at three times the price of the market rate.
This controversy has given ammunition to the opposition party, mainly the BJP, which is demanding a CBI inquiry into the whole matter.
The company which is said to have received undue favours is Infrastructure Leasing and Financial services Ltd. One of Sheila Dikshit’s relatives Charu Malhotra, her sister’s daughter-in-law, is a top executive in the said company. It has been alleged that IL&FS got the consultancy assignments for the construction work to be undertaken in Delhi schools because of Charu’s proximity to the CM. And it has also been alleged that while passing the tender the rules for the same were not adhered to.
In 2006, Jalaj Srivastava, the MD of DSIIDC, is said to have passed a one-sided tender favouring IL&FS, while rejecting the tenders of other companies sighting various shortcomings. It is alleged that one of the employees of DSIIDC, RN Bararia, was dismissed when he objected to the wrongdoing. In fact, Srivastava is said to have threatened the employee and asked him to sit at home, otherwise he would be thrashed. For all his high-handedness, Jalaj Srivastava was not only promoted but made the Trade and Tax Commissioner.
Now, the Delhi Lokayukta has asked for all the documents related to the controversy which took place during Srivastava’s tenure, on the basis of a RTI application filed by RN Bararia. On the other hand, the CM is said to have commented that the purview of the Lokayukta should be limited to the politicians and officials should not be brought under it.