₹171 crore, not ₹45 crore, spent on Kejriwal house renovation, claims Maken

May 08, 2023 12:46 am | Updated 12:46 am IST - NEW DELHI

Congress leader Ajay Maken addressing the media in Delhi on Sunday.

Congress leader Ajay Maken addressing the media in Delhi on Sunday. | Photo Credit: SUSHIL KUMAR VERMA

Senior Congress leader Ajay Maken on Sunday alleged that the actual amount of money spent on the renovation of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s residence was ₹171 crore and not ₹45 crore as the BJP was claiming.

Addressing a press conference, Mr. Maken said that he would be writing to Lieutenant-Governor V.K. Saxena to take action as the renovation was a breach of privilege because the government had passed the budget without clarifying what it was meant for. He added that the renovation also flouted provisions of the Delhi Master Plan.

Explaining how he came up with the figure of ₹171 crore, Mr. Maken said that there were four residence complexes adjacent to Mr. Kejriwal’s official house — 6, Flagstaff Road, Civil Lines which had 22 officers’ flats that were either demolished or vacated for the expansion of the Chief Minister’s residence. “To compensate for these flats, the Kejriwal government had to buy 21 Type-5 flats worth ₹126 crore in the Commonwealth Games Village. The cost of buying these flats must also be added to the cost of ₹45 crore,” Mr. Maken said.

The Opposition has hit out at Mr. Kejriwal for the renovation of his house during the COVID-19 pandemic and earlier, Mr. Maken had put out a tweet of an affidavit signed by Mr. Kejriwal in which he promised to live an austere lifestyle.

AAP had hit back saying that it was an 80-year house that was in need of renovation as the roof had collapsed thrice. Senior AAP leader Sanjay Singh had said that the BJP was making it an issue to divert attention from hard-hitting questions as it did not have answers too.

Mr. Maken said the Civil Lines area is protected by the Delhi Master Plan as it is a heritage zone where you cannot build multiple floors. Hence, there needs to be an investigation as to how heritage and green cover protection provisions of the master plan were violated.

“I am requesting the Lieutenant-Governor to use his authority to immediately stop further construction there and since, it is being spent from the consolidated fund of India and Delhi being the Union Territory, the L-G has the right to intervene,” Mr. Maken said.

“The L-G must take action against erring PWD officers, the Chief Minister and the PWD Minister. All these three people should be adequately punished under the law,” Mr. Maken said.

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