New Delhi: Once upon a time, he used to proudly proclaim himself as an “AAM AADMI” (common man). However, now he is spending(public money) over 45 crore rupees in the renovation of his bungalow. Yes, you read that correctly; we are referring to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. Kejriwal can no longer be considered an ordinary citizen. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has initiated a preliminary enquiry (PE) to investigate “irregularities and misconduct” concerning the renovation of the official residence of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, located on Flagstaff Road in the national capital.
The CBI’s PE, a precursor to an FIR (First Information Report), is directed at “unidentified public servants” within the Delhi government, as stated by agency officials. The BJP has alleged that approximately 45 crore rupees were utilised for the so-called “renovation” of Kejriwal’s official residence at 6, Flagstaff Road, situated in the Civil Lines area of the city.
मुख्यमंत्री अरविंद केजरीवाल के राजमहल निर्माण घोटाले की सीबीआई जांच शुरू होने का हम स्वागत करते हैं।
— BJP Delhi (@BJP4Delhi) September 27, 2023
Allegations have surfaced regarding an expenditure of nearly Rs 45 crore on the “addition/alteration” of Arvind Kejriwal’s residence, undertaken by the Public Works Department (PWD) between September 2020 and June 2022. This development follows the arrest of Kejriwal’s former Deputy Chief Minister, Manish Sisodia, in connection with the Delhi liquor scam. In that case, the agency claimed that the excise policy had been modified to favor the liquor industry.
The CBI has initiated an inquiry into the suspected violation of tender regulations in the construction of the house. This inquiry has been directed against “unknown public servant(s) of the Government of Delhi,” as reported by News Channel. If the preliminary inquiry uncovers substantial evidence, the agency will proceed to register a police case.
According to the report, the CBI has communicated with the Delhi government’s Public Works Department, requesting “certified copies” of documents related to the construction of the Chief Minister’s new residence. Additionally, the PWD has been asked to provide information regarding payments made to the contractor.
CBI officials have stated that investigators have requested official records related to the approval and recommendations for the alteration of the Chief Minister’s residence, tender documents, contractor bids, approval of building plans, and requests from the client for upscale features such as modular kitchens, marble flooring, and other decorative work. To prevent possible tampering with the documents, Delhi Lt Governor VK Saxena had ordered their secure storage in April.
In response to the CBI’s preliminary inquiry, the Aam Aadmi Party dismissed the allegations, asserting that nothing substantial would come out of the case. They accused the BJP of using its influence to target the AAP, citing the arrests of prominent ministers Satyendar Jain and Manish Sisodia.
Meanwhile, Delhi BJP President Virendra Sachdeva welcomed the CBI’s preliminary inquiry and suggested that the people of Delhi were pleased because it would expose corruption that had allegedly taken place under the cloak of honesty maintained by Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal.
BJP leader Amit malvia post shared on X (formerly Twitter), ‘BJP has put up a replica of Kejriwal’s Sheeshmahal at Rajeev Chowk, Metro-Gate No 6. People are thronging to click selfies. The replica will travel to all 70 constituencies of Delhi for people to click selfies with because Kejriwal is not letting people see the tax payer funded Rajmahal… ‘
.@BJP4Delhi has put up a replica of Kejriwal’s Sheeshmahal at Rajeev Chowk, Metro-Gate No 6. People are thronging to click selfies. The replica will travel to all 70 constituencies of Delhi for people to click selfies with because Kejriwal is not letting people see the tax payer… pic.twitter.com/ICYrg7YrQI
— Amit Malviya (@amitmalviya) June 11, 2023
Background related to controversy surrounding renovation of CM house in Delhi
The controversy surrounding the renovation of Arvind Kejriwal’s residence came to light in 2022 when it was disclosed that the government had expended more than Rs 45 crore on the project. This amount was significantly higher than the sum authorized by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA). The DDA had given its approval for a budget of Rs 2.9 crore for the renovation project, which was intended to cover repairs to the building’s structure, electrical and plumbing work, and the installation of security systems. However, the actual expenditure for the renovation exceeded the approved budget by more than 15 times.
In response to these revelations, Baijal initiated an inquiry into the matter in May 2023. The inquiry report, submitted to Baijal in July 2023, revealed multiple irregularities in the renovation process. The report highlighted that the government had awarded the renovation contract to a company without adhering to the proper tendering procedures. Furthermore, it found that the company had inflated the costs of materials and labor utilized in the renovation, raising serious questions about the project’s transparency and financial integrity.