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Kejriwal’s other headache: The alleged Rs 400-cr water tanker scam

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Kapil Mishra has been pursuing a probe into the alleged scam, which has been in the news since 2015

BS Web Team  |  New Delhi  May 8, 2017 Last Updated at 09:22 IST

Before sacked Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) minister dropped the bomb on Sunday with allegations of corruption against Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, all indications had pointed towards some big revelation regarding the alleged Rs 400 crore water tanker scam — a case which saw FIRs against both Kejriwal and his predecessor  


Till Sunday morning, Mishra had maintained that he had been axed from the Delhi Cabinet for his insistence on bringing those involved in the alleged scam to justice. While news events have overtaken the issue, Mishra’s May 6, 2017, letter to the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) indicates that he has no intention of letting go of the findings he claims to have made while probing the matter.    


What is the scam all about and how did it come to light


The alleged scam came to light when Delhi’s government, in June 2015, constituted a fact-finding committee to probe the irregularities in hiring some 385 stainless steel water tankers by the Delhi Jal Board in 2012, during Dikshit’s rule.


The five-member committee was formed by then Delhi Water Minister


Its report, submitted to Kejriwal in August 2015, highlights alleged corruption of Rs 400 crore in the process of awarding tenders for hiring water tankers.


It recommended an FIR against leader Dikshit by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the ACB.


In mid-June 2016, almost a year later, the report was sent to the prime minister and Delhi’s lieutenant governor by the government.


Subsequently, the Delhi Anti-Corruption Branch filed an FIR against both Kejriwal and his predecessor Dikshit in connection with the


Kejriwal’s name got added due to a complaint by a legislator from the opposition. In June 2016, ACB chief M K Meena told IANS that Kejriwal’s name also featured in the FIR due to Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator Vijender Gupta’s complaint against the former “for causing delay and not cancelling the contract for water tankers”.


What did the Delhi government do after the panel submitted its report


On June 12, 2016, then state Water Minister Mishra had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and then Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung recommending either a CBI or ACB probe against Dikshit in connection with the alleged scam. 


Mishra also said that the former Delhi chief minister should be behind bars for alleged corruption and that she was not facing any action as the BJP was not keen to punish the guilty. 


He also said that the state government had filed three FIRs against Dikshit for various corruption cases.


How did the ACB get involved


On June 16, 2016, Jung forwarded the report on the alleged scam to the ACB for further investigation.  


However, Jung also forwarded a complaint filed with him by BJP leader Gupta accusing Kejriwal of “suppressing” the committee’s report into the tanker scam for 11 months.


‘Politically motivated’


After Jung ordered the ACB to probe into the alleged scam, Dikshit came out to rubbish the allegations against her as “politically motivated”. 


The veteran also questioned the timing of the probe saying it was ordered when preparations for crucial polls in Punjab and Uttar Pradesh were picking up momentum. 


The allegations come at a time when there had been speculation that Dikshit could be made the Congress’ chief ministerial face for the Assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh or be given a major role in the party’s campaign for the Assembly polls in Punjab. 


Reacting to the ACB’s move, Kejriwal, for his part, sought to drag the prime minister into the controversy and said that the FIR against him only proved that Modi had accepted that he was in direct confrontation with the chief.


“Mujhe Khushi hai ki apne sweekar kiya ki aapki ladai sidhe mujhse hai (I am happy you have accepted that your direct confrontation is with me),” Kejriwal had said in a tweet.


Snail’s pace


After the FIR was registered, according to Times of India, the ACB did question Dikhsit regarding the matter in August last year. Mishra and the members of the fact-finding committee were also questioned by the agency. 


However, since then, if Mishra’s recent letter is to be believed, any further probe into the matter has ground to a halt. In fact, in his letter, Mishra had requested that Meena give him some time for a meeting so that he could discuss the details of the alleged tanker scam with the latter.

Kejriwal’s other headache: The alleged Rs 400-cr water tanker scam

Kapil Mishra has been pursuing a probe into the alleged scam, which has been in the news since 2015

Kapil Mishra has been pursuing a probe into the alleged scam, which has been in the news since 2015

Before sacked Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) minister dropped the bomb on Sunday with allegations of corruption against Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, all indications had pointed towards some big revelation regarding the alleged Rs 400 crore water tanker scam — a case which saw FIRs against both Kejriwal and his predecessor  


Till Sunday morning, Mishra had maintained that he had been axed from the Delhi Cabinet for his insistence on bringing those involved in the alleged scam to justice. While news events have overtaken the issue, Mishra’s May 6, 2017, letter to the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) indicates that he has no intention of letting go of the findings he claims to have made while probing the matter.    


What is the scam all about and how did it come to light


The alleged scam came to light when Delhi’s government, in June 2015, constituted a fact-finding committee to probe the irregularities in hiring some 385 stainless steel water tankers by the Delhi Jal Board in 2012, during Dikshit’s rule.


The five-member committee was formed by then Delhi Water Minister


Its report, submitted to Kejriwal in August 2015, highlights alleged corruption of Rs 400 crore in the process of awarding tenders for hiring water tankers.


It recommended an FIR against leader Dikshit by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the ACB.


In mid-June 2016, almost a year later, the report was sent to the prime minister and Delhi’s lieutenant governor by the government.


Subsequently, the Delhi Anti-Corruption Branch filed an FIR against both Kejriwal and his predecessor Dikshit in connection with the


Kejriwal’s name got added due to a complaint by a legislator from the opposition. In June 2016, ACB chief M K Meena told IANS that Kejriwal’s name also featured in the FIR due to Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator Vijender Gupta’s complaint against the former “for causing delay and not cancelling the contract for water tankers”.


What did the Delhi government do after the panel submitted its report


On June 12, 2016, then state Water Minister Mishra had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and then Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung recommending either a CBI or ACB probe against Dikshit in connection with the alleged scam. 


Mishra also said that the former Delhi chief minister should be behind bars for alleged corruption and that she was not facing any action as the BJP was not keen to punish the guilty. 


He also said that the state government had filed three FIRs against Dikshit for various corruption cases.


How did the ACB get involved


On June 16, 2016, Jung forwarded the report on the alleged scam to the ACB for further investigation.  


However, Jung also forwarded a complaint filed with him by BJP leader Gupta accusing Kejriwal of “suppressing” the committee’s report into the tanker scam for 11 months.


‘Politically motivated’


After Jung ordered the ACB to probe into the alleged scam, Dikshit came out to rubbish the allegations against her as “politically motivated”. 


The veteran also questioned the timing of the probe saying it was ordered when preparations for crucial polls in Punjab and Uttar Pradesh were picking up momentum. 


The allegations come at a time when there had been speculation that Dikshit could be made the Congress’ chief ministerial face for the Assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh or be given a major role in the party’s campaign for the Assembly polls in Punjab. 


Reacting to the ACB’s move, Kejriwal, for his part, sought to drag the prime minister into the controversy and said that the FIR against him only proved that Modi had accepted that he was in direct confrontation with the chief.


“Mujhe Khushi hai ki apne sweekar kiya ki aapki ladai sidhe mujhse hai (I am happy you have accepted that your direct confrontation is with me),” Kejriwal had said in a tweet.


Snail’s pace


After the FIR was registered, according to Times of India, the ACB did question Dikhsit regarding the matter in August last year. Mishra and the members of the fact-finding committee were also questioned by the agency. 


However, since then, if Mishra’s recent letter is to be believed, any further probe into the matter has ground to a halt. In fact, in his letter, Mishra had requested that Meena give him some time for a meeting so that he could discuss the details of the alleged tanker scam with the latter.


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BS Web Team

Business Standard

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