After the Shunglu Committee report pointed out alleged discrepancies in allotment of an office to the Aam Aadmi Party on Rouse Avenue Marg, Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal has asked the Public Works Department (PWD) to cancel the allotment of the bungalow. He has also asked the chief secretary to take necessary action.
As per allotment rules, a residential property cannot be used as a party office.
“It is not possible to accord ex post facto approval. Accordingly, PWD is directed to revoke the allotment of the said bungalow and take further action as per the rules. A copy of this note is marked to the chief secretary for action,” Baijal wrote in the communication.
He added, “PWD has clearly submitted…that the provision of furniture and fittings for use in the accommodation to be used as party office is not covered as per allotment rules, 1977.”
In November 2015, the AAP government had approved a policy for land allotment to state parties. The PWD under the AAP government then allotted bungalow number 206 on Rouse Avenue to the party early last year. The bungalow was earlier allotted to Asim Ahmed Khan, the then Delhi Minister, who was sacked over graft charges.
But after the Shunglu Committee pointed out discrepancies in the allotment, a file was submitted by the PWD to the L-G for ex post facto approval.
Baijal’s communication also raised objections to directions being issued to provide fittings from bungalow number 206 to minister of food and supplies Imran Hussain, who stays in bungalow number 217.
Following Baijal’s communication, leader of opposition in the Delhi Assembly, BJP’s Vijender Gupta, tweeted: “Repeated warnings of constitutional violation in allotment of party office by PWD under Delhi govt were ignored.”
He added, “Furniture and electric fitting installed in govt bungalow turned AAP office were on public expense against norms. PWD raised objection but CM ignored.”
Senior AAP leader Sanjay Singh hit back, “We have just got to know that the L-G has cancelled the lease of our party office. We just want to ask, why such discrimination against us? Yeh kya dushmani hai, kya bhed bhaav? What is our fault that they (the BJP) do not want to let us work? The BJP office on 14 Pant Marg is a bungalow allotted to an MP. The office space earmarked to them near ITO was meant for a school. Even in the case of Congress, 24 Akbar Road is a bungalow allotted to an MP. The Raisina Road youth office too is a minister’s bungalow. The BJP’s national headquarters too is a minister’s bungalow.”