Delhi, India: BJP workers stage an indefinite sit-in protest outside AAP chief and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s residence over the AAP Government’s lavish overhaul of the CM’s official residence located at Civil Lines, Delhi.
It has been alleged that Arvind Kejriwal’s residence was renovated at staggering Rs 45 crores during the Covid-19 outbreak. Furthermore, it is pertinent to note that Arvind Kejriwal’s move is a sharp contradiction to his 2013 claim that neither he nor other AAP ministers would take government residence, instead insisted that he and the ministers would be allotted smaller government flats.
The AAP Government’s lavish overhaul of the CM’s official residence has invoked questions about the government’s priorities. It is pertinent to note that while the Delhi Government was renovating the AAP chief’s residence, various instances came to the fore about the government’s unpaid dues to teachers, doctors, legal researchers and contractors.
The report, termed “Operation Sheeshmahal” reveals that a staggering Rs 44.78 crores of taxpayers’ money has been spent on renovating and refurbishing the official residence.
The Delhi Government spent about Rs 5-8 lakh per piece on curtains for the CM’s residence. Furthermore, the report revealed that a whopping Rs 97 lakhs were cleared for the 23 curtains installed during the renovation of the residence for the AAP leader. Furthermore, the report revealed that taxpayers’ money was spent to procure 6 carpets for a staggering sum of about Rs 19.89 lakhs.
The taxpayers’ money was used to import the lavish ‘Deor Pearl Marble’ from Vietnam at a cost of about Rs 3 crores for renovating Arvind Kejriwal’s residence. Furthermore, it was reported that about Rs 21.60 lakhs was spent on mere chemicals used to fix the marble.
The report revealed that Rs 40 lakhs were spent to install 6 almirahs at the AAP leader’s residence. Furthermore, the official residence is equipped with two kitchens renovated at a cost of about Rs 63 lakhs.
On April 26, the BJP national spokesperson Sambit Patra said in a press conference “The headlines published in the newspapers today are not just the story of a Maharaj and his palace’s renovation but it is the story of the Maharaj’s mindset… I will loot everything, I will not leave anything… This is the story of the transformation in that Maharaj.”
However, AAP leader Raghav Chadha has defended the decision to renovate the AAP chief’s residence at staggering amounts. He claimed that the residence was built before independence and was becoming uninhabitable. Furthermore, he said that a PWD audit declared that the residence was unfit to live.