A day after Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal attacked Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, alleging the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had raided a top Delhi government bureaucrat to scuttle an investigation into the alleged role of the FM in the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) scam, the Congress demanded a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe into the irregularities and resignation of Jaitley.
The Congress alleged that there were gross irregularities when Jaitley was DDCA chief from December 1999 to December 2013. Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad and Congress Lok Sabha leader Mallikarjun Kharge along with Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken also released the confidential inquiry committee report set up by the Delhi government to inquire into the scam, which had recommended a thorough probe into the cricket body. "Congress demands that pending the completion of inquiry through a JPC, Arun Jaitley step down, failing which the prime minister should sack him,” said Maken.
The Congress substantiated its demands by citing several reports; the most recent being a three-member committee set up by Kejriwal, a Registrar of Companies (RoC) report of 2014, findings of a two-member commission constituted by a Delhi court and an internal fact-finding committee of the DDCA. The DDCA being a non-profit company, the Congress said a fair probe by authorities like the Enforcement Directorate, Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) was not possible as long as Jaitley held the office of finance minister.
Maken stated that RoC had “proved” the charges of irregularities after he had complained to the then Corporate Affairs Minister M Veerappa Moily, who had ordered the RoC inquiry. He also alleged that the investigation by the SFIO had found that the reconstruction of the Ferozeshah Kotla stadium in the capital was carried out between 2002 and 2007 where costs escalated by Rs 90 crore from an initial estimate of Rs 24 crore.
Maken claimed that it was also revealed by the SFIO probe that there was no record of tender for most of the contracts issued by the DDCA for the construction of the Stadium and that many companies that were given contracts were actually owned by the office bearers of the DDCA. The Congress leaders at the same time, trashed Kejriwal's talk of blame game and get down to real work to nail corruption.
The already strained relations between the government and the Opposition led Congress are set to take a turn for the worse, with this new ammunition and the much awaited GST bill can be truly assigned to the cold storage at least for now.