Deputy CM, Kejriwal criticise Modi over action.
New Delhi: The CBI on Wednesday initiated a preliminary enquiry (PE) against Delhi’s deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia and others in the case of alleged irregularities in “Talk to AK” campaign, a maiden interactive session of Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal held on July 17. The issue is all set to trigger a fresh round of confrontation between the Centre and the Aam Admi Party-led Delhi government.
“The PE has been registered against the Dy CM of Delhi and he will soon be called for clarifications. The PE has been registered based on a complaint filed by the vigilance department of the Delhi government,” sources said.
The complaint alleged 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, they added. It 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. Reacting to it, an infuriated Mr Sisodia tweeted, “Welcome Modiji. Take the challenge. I will wait for your CBI at my home and office tomorrow morning.” Mr Kejriwal also took to twitter to criticise the Prime Minister. “This is why I call you a coward. When you are losing Goa and Punjab, you have started the CBI game. It seems Modiji has lost it. Prime Minister of the country has only this to do. He is after us,” he tweeted.
The BJP and the Congress had called the campaign a marketing gimmick at the cost of the exchequer. The questions and answers, the two parties had alleged, 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 website www.talktoak.com.
During the talk session, the chief minister had covered a wide array of hard issues linked to the strained relations between the Centre and the Delhi government. One of these, he said, was the arrest of his principal secretary by the CBI.
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. Although Kejriwal had indicated that the initiative would be continued, the second session has so far not been organised. Kejriwal had also accused PM Modi of using CBI against AAP. “Modi ji, this is the reason why I call you a coward. Eyeing your defeat in Punjab and Goa, you have put CBI to work,” he had said.