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  Metros   Delhi  17 Feb 2017  Two finance department officials under lens over campaign

Two finance department officials under lens over campaign

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Feb 17, 2017, 6:09 am IST
Updated : Feb 17, 2017, 6:42 am IST

The agency wants clarifications from two senior officials of the finance department of the city government in this regard, they added.

Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)
 Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)

New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation has decided to seek clarifications from two senior officials of the finance department of Delhi government, as part of its investigation into the preliminary enquiry (PE), registered to probe alleged irregularities committed in awarding contracts, pertaining to the social media campaign — ‘Talk to AK’ — launched by the city government.

The issue is all set to trigger a fresh round of confrontation between the Centre and the Aam Admi Party led Delhi government as the social media campaign was an initiative of the Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

Sources said, “The PE has been registered based on a complaint filed by the vigilance department of the Delhi government. There are allegations that a consultant of a well-known public relations company was hired by the Delhi government to promote ‘Talk to AK’ (Talk to Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal) campaign and a proposal of Rs 1.5 crore was prepared for this purpose. It is also alleged that despite objections from the Principal Secretary, the government went ahead with the proposal and the consultant spent the money thereby creating a liability for the government.”

The agency wants clarifications from two senior officials of the finance department of the city government in this regard, they added.

The CBI on January 18 initiated a PE against state deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia in this regard. The BJP and the Congress had termed the campaign a marketing gimmick at the cost of the exchequer. The two parties had alleged that the questions and answers,  were “scripted”.

Launched almost an year after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s monthly radio programme Mann Ki Baat, Mr Kejriwal’s interaction was live streamed on the web site www.talktoak.com.

During the session, the CM had covered a wide array of hard issues linked to the strained relations between the Centre and the state government.

BJP legislator Vijender Gupta — one of the three in the 80-member Delhi Assembly — had attacked Kejriwal, accusing him of “politicising the CBI”. The programme was conducted on July 17, 2016.

Tags: arvind kejriwal, finance department, central bureau of investigation
Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi