Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has been served notice by its own government in Delhi for Rs 163.62 crore spent allegedly on political advertisements passed off as government messages.
AAP has to pay up within 10 days, warns the recovery notice issued by the Directorate of Information and Publicity (DIP), or its office will be sealed.
“A final opportunity is hereby given to reimburse the amount of ₹ 163,61,88,265/- (Rs One hundred and sixty three crores, sixty one lakh, eighty eight thousand, two hundred and sixty five only) by depositing the said amount in the account details given below within 10 days of issuing of this notice, failing which further necessary action as per law will be taken in this matter,” the notice read.
While ₹ 99,31,10,053 (Rs 99.31 crore) is the amount spent on advertisements till March 31, 2017, the remaining ₹ 64,30,78,212 (Rs 64.31 crore) is the penal interest on this amount.
Reacting to the notice, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia accused Lt Governor VK Saxena and the BJP of targeting elected ministers and ruling AAP.
Officers of Del govt are being misused by LG n BJP, not to do ANY public service work, but to keep targetting elected ministers and ruling AAP.
Thats why they wish to continue their control over “services”.
– Manish Sisodia (@msisodia) January 12, 2023
The development comes nearly a month after Delhi Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena initiated action against the Arvind Kejriwal-led party accusing it of running political advertisements it the guise of government advertisements.
AAP, reacting to the Lt Governor’s December 20 order asking for Rs 97 crore to be recovered from the party, said he has no power to pass such orders.
AAP’s chief spokesperson Saurabh Bhardwaj had dismissed the Lieutenant Governor’s order as a “new love letter”. “The BJP is flustered that we have become a national party and wrested power from it in the MCD. LG sahab is doing everything in accordance with the BJP’s directions and that is troubling the people of Delhi. The more worried Delhi’s people are, the happier the BJP gets,” Mr Bhardwaj had claimed.
The Lt Governor’s directions would not stand in the eyes of law, he had said.
With inputs from NDTV