AAP levels fresh charges against Jaitley

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 22, 2018 Published on December 30, 2015

Paper trail: AAP leaders Saurabh Bhardwaj and Ashutosh showing documents at a press conference in New Delhi on Wednesday   -  PTI

But DDCA to file defamation suit against Kirti Azad, Arvind Kejriwal

With the AAP levelling fresh charges against Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, the political slugfest over the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) affairs continued on Wednesday, as the BJP dismissed the charges “with contempt”.

The DDCA management, in the meantime, announced that it will file a defamation case against Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and suspended BJP MP Kirti Azad for making “wild and baseless” allegations against the cricket body.

The day began with the AAP holding a press conference to accuse Jaitley of putting pressure on the police to “close” an investigation into the cricket club of a bank in 2011. Kirti Azad simultaneously claimed that the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) probe report had recommended “prosecution” of Jaitley in the DDCA affairs.

He also targeted more politicians, including party MP and BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur, along with Congress leaders Rajiv Shukla, Jyotiraditya Scindia, former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah and ex-Union Minister Praful Patel.

The AAP released two letters, purportedly written by Jaitley, to former Delhi Police Commissioner BK Gupta and then Special Commissioner Ranjit Narayan, requesting them to “fairly” deal with the matter of the cricket club and “close” the case since “DDCA has done no wrong”.

The party also renewed its demand for Jaitley’s resignation in the wake of the “fresh disclosures”. The letter to Gupta is dated October 27, 2011 while the one written to Narayan is dated May 5, 2012.

Senior AAP leader Ashutosh claimed that the letters “punctured” the Finance Minister’s repeated assertions that he was in no way connected with any wrongdoing in the DDCA, which he headed for 13 years till 2013.

“The Finance Minister has so far claimed that he was the non-executive president (of DDCA) and he was in no way connected with any wrongdoing in the DDCA so far. The AAP is putting in public domain irrefutable and direct evidence to confront Mr Jaitley. He has not only consistently misused his political clout but also actively connived with all the wrongdoers to hide large-scale corruption and finance irregularities,” said the AAP in a statement.

BJP dismisses charges

The BJP dismissed the charges as a “publicity stunt”.

“The AAP is continuing with its daily accusations and press conferences which have turned out to be a damp squib. Every morning, they need to be in the media so in consistency with their ‘spit and run’ policy, they chant the same rhetoric without any substance,” said BJP leader Siddharth Nath Singh.

“What do these so-called letters prove? This is routine correspondence which is circulated for effect and to gain cheap publicity. The Congress’s bankruptcy is so big that they latch on to any accusation anyone else is making to defame the BJP and its top leaders. It’s a case of ‘ chor chor mausere bhai (thick as thieves)’,” said Singh.

Published on December 30, 2015
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