New Delhi: Escalating his attack on Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today demanded that he resign or be “removed” from the Union Cabinet to enable holding of an independent probe into alleged corruption in DDCA. Kejriwal said Jaitley’s assertion that AAP’s allegations against him are “unsubstantiated and non-specific” could not be treated as “gospel truth” as the charges against him were “very, very serious”.
“Can Jaitley ji’s denial in press be taken as gospel truth? Very serious allegations against him. Why is he running away from investigations? If Jaitley ji were let off without investigations on basis of his press denial, then should all coal and 2G accused also be similarly let off?” Kejriwal asked in a series of tweets.
The Delhi Chief Minister, who has accused the CBI of raiding his office to get hold of a file that “traps” Jaitley, claimed that the allegations against the Finance Minister are “very, very serious”. “Amounts involved are huge. He should either resign or be removed to enable independent probe,” Kejriwal demanded. Hitting back at Kejriwal over the Delhi and District Cricket Association row, Jaitley accused him of spreading “false propaganda”, saying he seems to believe in “untruth and defamation and delivers a language that borders on hysteria”.
Jaitley added that the DDCA case “is a part of propaganda technique to deflect attention when you yourself are in the dock” and accused Kejriwal of focusing attention on him after he acted as a shield to cover an officer under investigation.
“I have left cricket administration in 2013. By referring to some facts of 2014 and 2015, he can’t drag me in,” he said, terming allegations against him as unsubstantiated and non-specific. The Finance Minister said the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO), which was entrusted with the investigations in the case by the previous UPA government, has clearly stated that “no fraud (was) noticed as alleged” and his role as DDCA President was “like a non-executive chairman without involvement in day-to-day affairs of the company”.
Earlier at a press conference, AAP alleged huge financial bunglings in DDCA during Jaitley’s 13 year-old tenure as its chief, saying large amounts were siphoned off through fake companies besides other irregularies including in team selection.
The AAP, quoting from reports of Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO), DDCA’s internal probe committee and a Delhi Government-appointed inquiry panel, accused Jaitley of giving “direct and indirect” consent to “massive corruption” in the cricket body.
“The bunglings had happened under direct or indirect consent of Arun Jaitley during his tenure as DDCA chief. Prime Minister Narendra Modi must ask Jaitley to resign to ensure fair probe as some of the competent agencies to invstigate the are under Finance Ministry,” said AAP Spokesperson Raghav Chadha, flanked by a number of other leaders.