The relation between the Delhi LG VK Saxena and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) further took an ugly turn ahead of the MCD polls as the LG has asked Kejriwal government to remove Jasmine Shah as the vice chairman of Delhi government's thinktank Delhi Dialogue and Development Commission (DDDC).
LG Saxena has also restricted Shah from using his office and other 'privileges and facilities' associated to his position with immediate effect unless a decision is taken by the CM. Shah has been accused of misusing public office for political purposes.
Following a directive from the planning department, the SDM of Civil lines sealed his office in late night. His official vehicle has also been withdrawn with immediate effect.
Shah in his response to the notice that was issued yesterday evening said that the LG has no jurisdiction over his office as DDDC vice chairman is recruited by the cabinet.
What were the allegations against Jasmine Shah?
In early October, upon receiving a complaint against Jasmine Shah for alleged impropriety and discrepancies in power subsidies given to Bombay Suburban Electricity Supply (BSES) distribution companies by the Delhi government, LG Saxena asked the chief secretary to look into the matter.
According to the complaints Jasmine Shah and Naveen Gupta, sons of AAP Rajya Sabha MP ND Gupta were engaged in massive scam.
It also accused the Kejriwal government of appointing directors of private distribution companies BSES Rajdhani Power Ltd. (BRPL) and BSES Yamuna Power Ltd. (BYPL). Though the group is owned by Anil Ambani, Delhi government holds 49% share in it.
What were the discrepancies in power distribution?
The complaint that was filed by a few jurists two things were mentioned. Firstly, it alleged that for providing free electricity to Delhites, Kejriwal government struck a deal with BRPL and BYPL. As per the deal these private distribution companies would later be reimbursed in terms of government subsidies for continuing the flow of electricity. The complaint said that it amounted to a sum of Rs. 11,500 crores, a loss to the state exchequer.
Secondly, it allowed the private companies to take Late Payment Surcharge (LPS) at the rate of 18% from the people whereas they were about to pay it at 12% to the Delhi government-run power generation companies. This, as per the allegations gave the private distribution companies a windfall gains of Rs. 8500 crores.
In another additional complaint BJP MP Pravesh Singh said Shah during his tenure as DDDC vice chairman “acted as official spokesperson of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) for political gains, which is in violation of established procedures.”
What is the Reaction of AAP?
Reacting strongly to the Governor’s decision to probe the power supply issue ahead of Gujarat elections, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal said that the flow of electricity will not be stopped in Delhi; rather it will be extended to Gujarat as well if they come to power.
In a tweet on October 4, Kerjiwal said, “Gujarat is very much liking the free electricity guarantee of AAP. That's why the BJP wants to stop free electricity in Delhi. People of Delhi have faith. I will not let your free electricity stop under any circumstances. People of Gujarat, I assure you that if the government is formed, your electricity will also be free from 1st March.”