Has already been circulated among top political leaders and bureaucrats, say sources
The Delhi Government is learnt to have prepared a point-by-point reply to various allegations levelled against it in general and the Chief Minister in particular in the media in the wake of the performance audit report on the Commonwealth Games prepared by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India being tabled in Parliament last Friday.
Prepared under the head of “Myths and Facts”, sources said the Government's response has already been circulated among top political leaders and bureaucrats and is expected to form the backbone of its formal reply on the issue, if and when sought by the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament. The note primarily defends the Chief Minister stating that she has not been indicted by CAG. “Any suggestion or reporting that the CAG report attributes any impropriety or misconduct on the part of Chief Minister is incorrect, false and misleading,” it states.
Acknowledging that “the Chief Minister has been briefly referred to in two places in the executive summary”, the note states that the Deputy CAG had clearly stated at a press conference that nowhere has the report indicted the Chief Minister nor are there any allegations against her. The summary goes on to give point-by-point “remarks” along with what had been said about the allegation in the executive summary and the main CAG report.
The note terms as “totally false” the allegation that “contracts were given to companies of family members of the Chief Minister”.
On the charge that “the Chief Minister interfered in tendering process of street lighting”, it remarks that “the decision for installation of imported luminaries on selected roads was a Cabinet decision and not a decision taken by the Chief Minister. The proposal was vetted by the departments concerned including planning and finance. Tendering is purely a function of the administrative departments and in fact Chief Minister had also given written instructions that the Cabinet should not be involved in the matter of finalisation of tenders.”
As for the allegation that the tender specifications for the luminaries were tweaked by the Chief Minister, the charge has been denied.
Since it has been alleged that “Spaceage got work after having been rejected by the Works Advisory Board on personal representation to the Chief Minister”, the reply states that “it is reiterated that the tender was approved in favour of Spaceage pursuant to a High Court order”. It points out that the CAG officials when asked if the Chief Minister had “intervened for inclusion of the firm” had stated that “if you will read the report, we have no where accused the Chief Minister of such a thing”.
Another major allegation was that potted plants worth Rs.24 crore were purchased from private parties and the Chief Minister was involved in this. To this the note remarks: “These plants were placed at various venues in Delhi. However, after objection from the Delhi Police they were moved to various public institutions.”
As for the allegations pertaining to crores being lost in street-scaping projects due to Chief Minister's involvement and her being indicted for bringing in Tetra communication, the note states that this is factually incorrect as this has not been mentioned either in the executive summary or the main report of CAG.
On “loss in construction of stadia”, it said “barring two, all other stadia were constructed by other agencies, which do not fall under the Delhi Government. Technical specifications were finalised by technical agencies and the Chief Minister is not responsible for any lapse.”
Since she was also accused of “restrictive bidding for signages”, it has been remarked that “in fact, CAG acknowledges the vision provided by the Chief Minister in modernising the existing archaic facilities in Delhi. In February 2006, the Delhi Chief Minister desired that the entire city should have state-of-the-art road signages with appropriate structural system for the forthcoming CWG.”