The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday claimed that around Rs 45 crore was spent on the "beautification" of Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal's official residence located in the Civil Lines area. The party also demanded his resignation on "moral" grounds.
According to a report by news agency PTI, documents provided by sources showed that a total of Rs 44.78 crore against a sanctioned amount of Rs 43.70 crore was spent on "addition/alternation" of his government accommodation on 6, Flagstaff Road in Civil Lines. The amount was spent in six trenches between September 9, 2020, to June 2022.
Delhi BJP president Virendra Sachdeva said that the amount was spent on the "beautification" of Kejriwal's bungalow at a time when Delhi was battling the Covid-19 pandemic.
"Kejriwal should answer the people of Delhi about his moral authority with which he spent around Rs 45 crore on the beautification of his bungalow when most of the public development works were stalled during the Covid phase," Sachdeva said.
He added that it had been established that Kejriwal does not live in a house but in a "Sheesh Mahal".
The leader of the opposition in the Delhi Assembly, Ramvir Singh Bidhuri, alleged that the "simplicity and honesty" of Kejriwal had been "exposed" and he should immediately resign.
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The total expenditure included Rs 11.30 crore on interior decoration, Rs 6.02 crore on stone and marble flooring, Rs one crore on interior consultancy, Rs 2.58 crore on electrical fittings and appliances, Rs 2.85 crore on fire fighting system, Rs 1.41 crore on wardrobe and accessories fitting, and Rs 1.1 crore on kitchen appliances.
A separate amount of Rs 8.11 crore out of the sanctioned amount of Rs 9.99 crore was spent on the camp office of the chief minister at his official residence.
Congress joins BJP in criticism
After BJP's allegations, Congress leader Ajay Maken also raised questions about Kejriwal's right to remain in his position.
He alleged that Kejriwal spent money on extravagant items like Dior polish, Vietnam marble, expensive curtains, and high-end carpets.
"Despite naming his party 'Aam Aadmi Party' (common man's party) and making these pledges, Kejriwal spent a fortune on his bungalow when the people of Delhi were desperately seeking oxygen cylinders during the Covid pandemic," he said.
Before coming to power, the AAP leader distributed printed copies of an affidavit in his New Delhi Legislative Assembly constituency, dated June 7, 2013, in which he made seven promises.
According to Maken, Kejriwal promised not to use a car with a red light or request additional security beyond what is necessary for a common citizen and refuse a large bungalow and instead live in an ordinary house like a common man.
Aam Aadmi Party's rebuttal
While no official reaction was available from the Delhi government, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) hit back at the BJP.
AAP leader Raghav Chadha said while speaking to Times Now said the residence in question was built in 1942. The Delhi government's Public Works Department (PWD), after an audit, had recommended its renovation.
(With agency inputs)