New Delhi [India], August 10 (ANI): Amid the ongoing tussle and war of words between BJP and AAP, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Wednesday alleged a massive toll tax scam in the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD).
The Deputy CM wrote to Delhi's Lieutenant Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena and demanded a CBI inquiry into the matter.
"I request to draw your attention towards a very big corruption of Delhi Municipal Corporation. The matter should be immediately investigated by the CBI strict action should be taken against the officials and leaders involved in the scam. The matter pertains to the toll tax to be collected from commercial vehicles entering Delhi," read the letter.
Sisodia also highlighted that the Delhi Municipal Corporation has suffered a loss of about Rs 16,000 crores due to the scam.
He alleged that the contract for the toll collection for the vehicles coming from Uttar Pradesh or Haryana side in Delhi was given to a private firm and as per the contract, the developer company was to pay Rs 1200 crore to the MCD but only paid 20 to 30 per cent in the years following 2017.
He claimed the company was to pay Rs 1200 crores every year. "In the first year, the money was given to the municipal corporation. But after that, in connivance with the leadership of the municipal corporation, it almost stopped giving money .... sometimes only 20 per cent or 30 per cent was paid," the letter added.
Sisodia also stressed that the MCD never took an action against the infrastructure firm for four years.
The AAP leader claimed that a new contract was given to the former's sister company with an even lower amount as a payback to MCD. "This should be investigated," claimed Sisodia.
He also listed that the new firm was given a relief of Rs 86 crores during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Earlier, on Saturday Sisodia had demanded a CBI probe against former Lieutenant Governor (LG) Anil Baijal alleging his decisions had caused a loss to the exchequer.
The BJP, however, hit back claiming that Sisodia was making the allegations as he was facing the heat in the matter.
Addressing a press conference, Sisodia claimed that the government had to incur huge losses because of the "deliberate" change of stance by then Lieutenant Governor Baijal on the new excise policy just 48 hours ahead of its implementation last year.
Sisodia wrote to the CBI seeking an investigation into Baijal's change of stance on the opening of liquor shops in "unauthorised areas".
"I have written to CBI asking them to probe how the government was made to suffer losses and profits were extended to some shopkeepers by changing things indirectly in the passed policy of the government," he said.
Sisodia claimed that the LG had suggested a few changes in the first draft of policy that was sent to him, and approved the new policy when it was presented to him the next time without objecting to the opening of liquor shops in the "unauthorised" areas.
"In the earlier excise policy, the shops were distributed very unevenly. So in the new excise policy, it was decided that the shops will be distributed equally. In May 2021, the new policy was passed and sent to the LG for approval. He read the policy carefully before his approval gave important suggestions. Incorporating all his suggestions, the Cabinet sent a new policy again to the LG in June, which he approved," he said.
"It was mentioned in the policy that inequitable distribution would be ended. The shops will be distributed equally, even in the unauthorised areas. He had neither objected to the opening of shops in the unauthorised areas, nor gave any suggestions for change when he had read the policy earlier," Sisodia said.
Sisodia, who also heads Delhi Excise Department, alleged that the LG changed his stance when the files to open the shops were sent to him for approval.
BJP leaders have, however, levelled charges of irregularities against the AAP government in connection with the implemention of the state's exicise policy. (ANI)