The panel report on tenders related to the purchase and maintenance of 1,000 low-floor buses for the DTC Saturday sparked a war of words between the AAP and the BJP, with both sides holding up the report as a vindication of their claims.
While the AAP-led Delhi government asserted that the report “exposed the lies of the BJP”, senior BJP leader Vijender Gupta said the findings established that the “entire deal was meant to favour two companies as a quid pro quo”. The AAP focused on the report’s observation on the purchase tender, while the BJP faulted the government over the AMC (annual maintenance contract).
Addressing a press conference with Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said the BJP has “lost its face” as the report has termed as baseless the allegations made by the party.
“The investigation committee of the BJP-led central government has not been able to find any flaws or irregularities in the purchase of buses. The report of the inquiry committee has made it clear that the government led by Arvind Kejriwal in Delhi is honest and the Delhi BJP leaders in opposition are trying to malign the image of the government. BJP leaders had previously made false allegations against the Delhi government and the Inquiry Committee had summoned 400 files from the Delhi government. The Inquiry Committee did not find any error even then. This makes it clear that the Delhi government is working honestly for the interests of the people of Delhi,” Sisodia said.
Gahlot tweeted, “Truth prevails, Conspiracies derail. I had always maintained that let BJP get any of our decisions probed from anywhere. Reality is that BJP’s real motive was to defame Arvind Kejriwal ji and derail the process of getting buses for Delhiites. I am happy that Delhi will get 1,000 buses.”
Gupta said the AAP is “misguiding” the public by saying that the committee has inquired into the procurement process of the DTC buses and given it a clean chit. “This is just another cheap way to mislead the people. After finding the AMC process and contract faulty, the committee has suggested scrapping the deal entirely,” he said.
“These companies were to be given Rs 30 crore every month, even when all the infrastructure and labour requirements are being fulfilled by the DTC, while other requirements are being fulfilled under warranty. This was being done without any due diligence or assessment of a reasonable cost. The committee, which has the Transport Secretary, who directly reports to the prime accused (Transport Minister), as one of its members, is asking the tender to be scrapped. Yet, it is silent on punishing those guilty behind the lapses,” Gupta said.