Former Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit on Friday hit back at her rivals on allegations of corruption in water tanker scam by dismissing them as “politically motivated.”
Breaking her silence a day after the Lt Governor Najeeb Jung had sent the city government’s report on an alleged 400-crore water tanker scam to the ACB, Dikshit said, “The decisions were taken collectively by BJP MLAs, (civic body) members and the chief engineer. The tankers are still running,”Dikshit told NDTV, adding, “I don’t know what the allegation is but it is politically motivated.”
This has come after both the ruling Aam Aadmi Party and the BJP traded accusations of cover up.
The BJP’s leader of opposition in the assembly, Vijender Gupta, had accused Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal of “suppressing” his government’s inquiry report on the tanker scam for 11 months.
AAP, for its part, attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for trying to protect Sheila Dikshit.
Its Delhi convener, Dilip Pandey said, “The anti-corruption bureau and CBI come directly under him. What stopped him from acting against Sheila Dikshit for so long.”
Water Minister Kapil Mishra added: “We have submitted a report to the ACB. Why isn’t Sheila Dikshit being arrested? We have given them two months – either arrest her or we will go where we have to. It is an agni-pariksha for the BJP on corruption.”
Meanwhile, the ACB chief, MK Meena said, “We have complaints about a scam of around 400 crore…the name of Sheila Dikshit is also there and we are investigating.”
Sheila Dikshit was the chief minister of Delhi for three straight terms between from 1998 to 2013.
In “tanker scam” there are allegations that between 2008 and 2011, Dikshit-led Congress government of Delhi bypassed the rules and caused losses worth crores while awarding tenders for water tankers at much higher rates to undeserving companies.
Many are, however, linking the latest development to a possible appointment of Dikshit as Congress’ in-charge of Punjab affairs ahead if 2017 elections, which AAP has repeatedly claimed it will win.
The speculation over Dikshit’s appointment gained momentum in recent days after Kamal Nath was made to resign following uproar over his alleged involvement in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.
Dikshit had held closed door talks with the Congress president, Sonia Gandhi, on Thursday.