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Dikshit cornered over CWG, opposition demands her resignation

Thursday August 04, 2011 12:10:49 AM, IANS

New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit Wednesday found herself in trouble after a leaked Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report indicted her of involvement in irregularities in contracts related to Commonwealth Games and the opposition demanded her resignation.

An angry Dikshit retaliated by saying that her government has not "done anything wrong".

"We have not done anything wrong. Everything was done keeping in mind the national interest and prestige. We were entrusted with certain responsibilities and we delivered them," Dikshit said.

Earlier in the day, a senior Delhi government official defended the government.

Delhi Chief Secretary P.K. Tripathi said media reports quoting the CAG report "does not give facts accurately".

"The reportage of the CAG report does not give the facts accurately and we would like to correct it so that the image of the government is not maligned," Tripathi told mediapersons in a hurriedly called press conference.

"The media reports said that for street lighting four parties were selected of which one was selected later on directions of the chief minister. We want to make it clear that at no stage did the chief minister give any such directions.

"It was decided by the board of assessors who made recommendations. At first Spaceage (company give the contract) was not selected and later they made a representation. The CM has simply marked it to the engineer-in-chief and did not even make any recommendation.

"The Works Advisory board is headed by the principal secretary of PWD. The board rejected Spaceage. It was after being rejected by the Works Advisory Board that the company went to the court and then the court ordered that they have to be included. So their inclusion is at the behest of the high court and not on the directions of the chief minister," added Tripathi.

The CAG report leaked Tuesday faulted the Prime Minister's Office for letting Suresh Kalmadi run the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee.

The report, yet to be tabled in parliament, also said that the Delhi government and civic agencies overspent Rs.100 crore on streetscaping and Rs.31 crore on street lightning.

Lok Sabha MP -- and the chief minister's son -- Sandeep Dikshit also came out in her defence.

"The Delhi government and the department will give their reply. We will have to see the report. Any comment by the CAG on any aspect has to examined. CAG is not the final word," he said outside the parliament house.

But the opposition was not satisfied and lambasted the Congress-led government in the state.

BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said : "It is very clear that the fraud was not the franchise of one man act but it was a multi-agency cooperative corruption scam."

He was referring to former OC chief Kalmadi, who is now in Tihar jail. Kalmadi is the prime accused in a corruption case related to financial irregularities in awarding a Rs.141 crore contract for timing, scoring and result equipment for the October 2010 mega sporting event.

Added BJP leader Vijay Goel: "The Delhi government was allotted Rs.77,000 crore, while the OC was given Rs.3,000 crore. Where did the money go?"

Delhi state BJP spokesperson Vijay Jolly went a step ahead, asking for a police complaint against Dikshit under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

This is Dikshit's third term at the helm. She has been chief minister since 1998. She is also the longest serving woman chief minister in the country.





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