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CAG Report: Opposition Demands Sheila's Resignation, CM Mum

PTI 05 Aug 2011, 21:53:25 IST

New Delhi, Aug 5: Severely rapped by the Comptroller and Auditor General for irregularities in Commonwealth Games projects, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit today evaded a direct reply to the charges saying her government will put its view before Public Accounts Committee, if asked.

Pointing out that they were yet to receive a copy of the 743-page report by the CAG, Dikshit made a brief statement to the media after presiding over an unscheduled Cabinet meeting during which the ministers expressed their full support to her on the issue.

“The CAG report has been placed before Parliament. We are yet to get a copy of it. We are trying to get a copy of it. “All I can assure you that when the CAG report goes to the PAC, in accordance with the well-established practice, whatever departments are asked to come before the PAC and answer any query that the members of PAC may want to be answered, we will cooperate with them completely and fully,” the chief minister told reporters at the media briefing during which all the ministers were present.

Sources said the Cabinet decided that the government would reply to all the charges in due course. The Cabinet also felt that there were no wrongdoings on the part of Delhi government in executing the Games related projects.

The CAG report, which was tabled in Parliament this afternoon, has pointed out several irregularities in various projects, including streetlighting and streetscaping, undertaken by the government in the run up to the Commonwealth Games in October last year.

Top government sources said Dikshit has not been indicted by the CAG as the auditor has only pointed out certain “procedural wrongdoings”.

“No charge has been made against the Chief Minister. The CAG has only pointed out certain procedural wrongdoings. This is not an indictment,” the sources said.

“The CAG cannot indict anyone. It is only an auditor. The report will now go to the Public Accounts Committee and only the decision taken by the committee is considered significant,” the sources said.

The CAG audited the expenses and pointed towards certain “wrong decisions”, the sources said, adding the Chief Minister has not been charged with corruption.

Besides Delhi Government, the government auditor has also rapped the Prime Minister's Office, CWG Organising Committee, CPWD and Delhi Development Authority among others for various irregularities in connection with the Games.

Meanwhile, BJP activists led by V K Malhotra and Vijay Jolly on Friday courted arrest in Delhi demanding Dikshit's resignation. Former Sports Minister and BJP leader Vikram Verma also called for her resignation.

CAG has pointed fingers at Dikshit for alleged irregularities in certain CWG projects.It has pointed out that Spageage Switchgears, one of the disqualified firms bidding for street lighting project,was declared qualified “irregularly” after it had made a plea to the Chief Minister.

The CAG also found overspending by the government and civic agencies to the tune of over Rs 100 crore on streetscaping and an excess expenditure of Rs 31.07 crore on street lighting by MCD, NDMC and PWD.

The Delhi government, however, says the chief minister never “intervened to favour” any firm and all due processes were followed in finalising the contracts.