Disgraceful of Kejriwal to say Sheila Dikshit not corrupt

Has the Delhi CM forgotten the allegations he had made against his rivals in the past?

 |  4-minute read |   24-09-2015
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During Team Anna's movement for Jan Lokpal Bill in 2011, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal had accused the then incumbent, Sheila Dikshit, of indulging in massive corruption in Commonwealth Games (CWG)-related projects. His tirade continued in the run up to the December 2013 Delhi Assembly elections. When he assumed the charge of Delhi's chief minister of a minority government in his first stint, one expected him to take two steps on priority basis - legislation of the Jan Lokpal Bill and launching action against the persons who, according to him, were corrupt.

However, it was on the last day of his 49-day rule that Kejriwal introduced the Jan Lokpal Bill and allowed his infantile government to fall. It was obvious that, after having failed to administer efficiently because of the outside support from the Congress, Kejriwal used the Bill as an alibi to force re-election, and not as a commitment towards the Bill. Or else, introducing the Bill would have been his first priority.

On corruption, it was also towards the fag end of his rule that Kejriwal's government filed an FIR into the 2010 Commonwealth Games. However, it surprisingly did not name Dikshit. The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) of Delhi government alleged cheating and criminal conspiracy under Prevention of Corruption Act in a Rs 90-crore project to install street lights.

As chief minister, Kejriwal had gone to the extent of claiming that he had prepared a 370-page report in November 2010 on the CWG scam containing evidence on corrupt practices during the games. But when it came to initiating actions, Kejriwal has clearly been seen not matching his words with actions.

One had expected him to finally fulfill his promises in his second stint as his Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) won overwhelmingly, bagging 67 of the 70 seats in February 2015 elections. He does not face the constraints which he did during his first term. However, despite having spent more than six months in power this time around, he has neither introduced his pet Jan Lokpal Bill not taken any action against Dikshit.

The second aspect of his inaction has been highlighted by an RTI reply by the Delhi government. It has stated that only one complaint was received from a Ludhiana-based resident against Dikshit. The RTI application, filed by Lucknow-based Sanjay Sharma and seeking information on cases registered by the present government in the CWG scam, was forwarded by Kejriwal's office to Directorate of Vigilance from where it went to the ACB. In a major embarrassment to Kejriwal, the ACB replied that no such information was available in its record.

A question can be asked: whether Kejriwal had raised allegations of corruption just to come to power? Going by other cases, it seems so. Not only Sheila but also Suresh Kalmadi, the then chairman of CWG 2010, has been spared of any action. Before the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Kejriwal had released a list of 27 alleged "beimaan" (dishonest) politicians and had decided to field AAP candidates against them.

Besides Kapil Sibal, A Raja, Mayawati, Mulayam Singh, P Chidambaram, Jagan M Reddy, Kamal Nath, Sharad Pawar, Nitin Gadkari, Sushilkumar Shinde, Veerappa Moily, Mulayam Singh Yadav, Pawan Bansal, Naveen Jindal, Shriprakash Jaiwal, B Yeddyurappa, Anurag Thakur, Tarun Gogoi, Anu Tandon, Salman Khurshid, Avtar Singh Bhadana, GK Vassan, HD Kumaraswamy, MK Alagiri, Praful Patel and Ananth Kumar, it included the name of Kalmadi as well. However, one has not heard of any action by the Delhi government even against the former CWG chairman, who, was even jailed as an accused.

While others ignored Kejriwal's allegation, Union road transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari filed a defamation suit against Kejriwal, who after failing to prove his allegations was arrested and sent to jail in May 2014. He finally reached a compromise with the Union minister in May 2015.

During those days of agitation by India Against Corruption (IAC), Kejriwal had levelled serious corruption allegations against President Pranab Mukherjee, who was the then Union finance minister. Mukherjee had been nominated by the Congress for the President's post. In a letter to then prime minister Manmohan Singh on May 26, 2012, the IAC made three allegations - corruption in the purchase of Scorpene submarines from France; fraud in the sale of rice to Ghana in 2008; and the Navy War Room leak case. But now, as chief minister of Delhi, Kejriwal is cosying up to the president. On his request, Mukherjee interacted with children on the Teachers' Day eve.

Do these developments indicate that Kejriwal has forgotten the allegations he had made against his rivals in the past and that he has no intention to pursue them?

Writer

Kumar Shakti Shekhar Kumar Shakti Shekhar @shaktishekhar

Delhi-based journalist with more than 20 years of experience in reporting for print, TV & digital media.

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