Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on Sunday slapped a legal notice on Delhi BJP president Vijender Gupta for “conspiring to malign her reputation and image”.
Mr. Gupta had over the weekend accused her of using government machinery to get paid hoarding of the BJP removed from various locations across the city.
The notice sent through Ms. Dikshit's advocate Mehmood Pracha has demanded an unconditional public apology from Mr. Gupta within three days and withdrawal of all false allegations and derogatory statements made by him in various advertisements, failing which he would face strict legal action.
As per the legal notice, hoardings have been erected at several prominent locations across the Capital at the instance of Mr. Gupta, violating the outdoor advertisement policy approved by the Supreme Court. “The MCD administration ruled by the BJP later swung into action after realising this clear violation of the Supreme Court approved policy on advertisements and decided to remove them,” the notice said.
Further, it said that the hoardings and advertisements were “part of a conspiracy to mislead the people and besmirch the reputation of the Chief Minister”. Mr. Gupta has also been asked to disclose the names of his “co-conspirators in this slanderous campaign”.
In a related development, MCD House Leader Subhash Arya and MCD Standing Committee chairman Yogendra Chandolia have reiterated the charges made by Mr. Gupta.
At a press conference on Sunday, they accused the Chief Minister of “pressurising top officials of the Delhi Transport Corporation and the MCD to remove authorised erected hoardings at prominent places in the city”.
According to them, the hoardings were erected at Pusa Road, Karol Bagh, Shankar Road, Hari Nagar, Jhandewalan, Delhi Gate, Rani Jhansi Road, Najafgarh Road, Rajendra Nagar Road, New Rohtak Road, Filmistan and Subzi Mandi among other locations.
“The hoardings highlighted how the Sheila Dikshit Government was misrepresenting facts before the people of Delhi. There was no reasonable cause to remove the hoardings under such urgency on a single day, that too on a holiday on Saturday.
About 25 hoardings from DTC bus stops and 20 hoardings from MCD poles that highlighted the issue of power tariff policy of the Delhi Government and its other misdeeds were removed,” Mr. Arya said.
The two leaders claimed that the hoardings were erected in a legal and authorised manner after paying the private concessionaire who was allotted the sites.
“The hoardings highlighted that the DERC was going to reduce electricity tariffs but the Chief Minister came in the way. Through these hoardings we were asking the government to provide proper accounts and an accurate financial statement. But out of sheer fear of public outcry, the Chief Minister thought it better to remove the hoardings,” added Mr. Chandolia.