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Kejriwal’s nephew arrested in PWD scam; AAP rejects charges

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New Delhi, May 10: The Anti-Corruption Branch on Thursday arrested Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s nephew Vinay Bansal in an alleged PWD scam, sparking an angry reaction from the AAP which said it was part of the BJP’s vendetta politics.

Vinay Bansal, the son of Kejriwal’s late brother-in-law Surender Bansal, was a partner in a firm which was involved in the alleged scam worth over Rs 6 crore.

“We have arrested Vinay Bansal from his residence in Pitampura after he failed to give satisfactory replies to our queries about a firm – ‘Mahadeo Impacts’,” Special Commissioner of Police Arvind Deep told IANS.

The firm showed purchase of raw materials for the construction of a Public Works Department (PWD) drain.

“The ACB registered an FIR on May 8, 2017. We received a complaint that Surender Bansal got a tender below 46 per cent on behalf of a company, Renu Construction, on the estimated cost of Rs 4.9 lakh,” Deep, who heads the ACB, said.

“The complaint also mentioned that the quality of products was not up to the mark. During the probe, it was found that iron and cement were bought from Mahadeo Impacts which was later found to be non-existent,” he said.

Delhi Deputy Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Manish Sisodia told the media here that for the last three years, the Delhi Police and the ACB are being used by the Lt Governor and the Central government for arresting AAP leaders.

The Delhi Police is “planning just one thing: How to make AAP people unhappy”, he said.

Bansal was doing projects with the Delhi government even before the Kejriwal government. The current case is on a contract he won before the AAP government came to power, he added.

“This is part of the chain of arrests against AAP MLAs,” Sisodia said, adding this will be exposed in the court.

“The good thing is that there’s justice in this country and when cases go to court it goes against police and police is being asked why did you do it?”

Sisodia said IIT Roorkee had done a third party audit as per the terms of the project and submitted a report and the PWD had also said that the work was done well.

“After the complaint, the ACB got a separate inquiry conducted by Sri Ram Labs which also said that work was satisfactory,” Sisodia said.

AAP chief spokesperson Saurabh Bharadwaj rejected any corruption in the matter.

“There can be only two ways of corruption in PWD drain construction: the tender was rigged to favour of Chief Minister’s relative or the payment was made for sub-standard work or incomplete work. In this case, nothing of this sort happened,” he tweeted.

In May 2017, AAP rebel leader Kapil Mishra raised the issue following a whistleblower’s revelations.

Surender Bansal, who ran a company that worked with the PWD for many years, died the same day Mishra raised the issue and filed the complaint.

IANS

Politics

INLD chief expels son Ajay Chautala

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Chandigarh, Nov 14: Taking a strong stance on the growing family feud within the INLD, party supremo Om Prakash Chautala expelled his elder son Ajay Singh Chautala from the primary membership of the party for “anti-party activities”.

The expulsion decision was announced by the Indian National Lok Dal state unit chief Ashok Arora here on Wednesday in the presence of senior party leaders and Ajay Chautala’s younger brother, Abhay Singh Chautala.

Arora read out a letter from Om Prakash Chautala, who is in Tihar Jail in the national capital, communicating his decision to all.

A meeting of the INLD leadership has been called here on November 17.

Hisar MP Dushyant Chautala and his younger brother, Digvijay Chautala, who are the sons of Ajay Chautala, were expelled from the primary membership on November 2 by their grandfather, bringing the bitterness within the Chautala clan out in the open.

Ajay Chautala, who was out of Tihar on parole, was touring various parts of Haryana to mobilise support for the party meeting and a rally he has called in Jind on November 17.

Reacting to the expulsion of Ajay Chautala, his son Digvijay Chautala said that the whole exercise was a “conspiracy” and the expulsion letter was “forged”.

Earlier, refusing to accept his expulsion, Dushyant had pointed out that neither has his expulsion order been issued officially by the INLD nor has the party’s national executive met to decide the issue.

Dushyant, who was also removed from the post of leader of the INLD Parliamentary Board, claimed that he had learnt about his ‘expulsion’ only through the media.

The INLD, which is Haryana’s main opposition party, could be heading for a split with the fight within the Chautala family spilling out into the open over the past few days.

Dushyant and Digvijay Chautala are the great-grandsons of former Deputy Prime Minister Devi Lal.

The action follows activities of both youth leaders and their supporters when they tried to project Dushyant as the chief ministerial face in Haryana next year.

O.P. Chautala and his elder son, Ajay, were convicted in the JBT (junior basic teacher) recruitment scam in January 2013. Both were sentenced to 10 years’ in prison by a Central Bureau of Investigation court in Delhi.

Father and son have been barred from contesting elections due to the conviction.

The INLD has been managed by Chautala’s younger son Abhay Singh Chautala, who has been the leader of opposition in the Haryana Assembly, since then.

IANS

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Rajasthan BJP MP Harish Meena joins Congress

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New Delhi, Nov 14: In a boost to the Congress ahead of the Rajasthan Assembly polls, Bharatiya Janata Party MP Hareesh Meena on Wednesday joined the Congress.

The Dausa MP and former Rajasthan Director General of Police, Meena was formally inducted into the party here in the presence of party leaders Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot.

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Election

130 candidates facing criminal cases in fray for Chhattisgarh polls

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New Delhi, Nov 13 : As many as 130 candidates facing declared criminal cases, 90 of them involving serious charges like attempt to murder, are among the 1,079 candidates in the fray for the second phase of Chhattisgarh Assembly polls in 72 constituencies.

A total of 239 crorepati (multi-millionaire) candidates are contesting the second phase of polls to be held on Nov 20 in 19 districts.

According to an analysis by election watchdog the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), the Congress with 18 such candidates leads the list of those with criminal antecedents followed by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) with 17 and the Janta Congress Chhattisgarh (J) with 15. The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has 6 such candidates.

Of the 90 candidates facing serious criminal charges, 11 are from the Congress, 13 from the AAP and 14 from the Janta Congress Chhattisgarh (J).

Congress’ Jaisingh Agrawal, vying for Korba seat, is among the candidates with the most number of criminal charges that include forgery, criminal conspiracy and obscene act. Another Congress nominee, Ashish Kumar Chhabra for the Bemetara seat is among those facing charges of attempt to murder.

Among the multimillionaires, 53 are from the Congress, 61 from the BJP and 35 from Janta Congress Chhattisgarh (J).

Congress veteran T.S. Singh Deo, contesting from Ambikapur, is the richest nominee with assets in excess of Rs 500 crore. While 19 candidates have declared nil assets, independent nominee Rubeena Anjum from the Raipur City South possesses “assets” of just Rs 104.

599 candidates are school dropouts while 9 are illiterate. Only 111 female candidates are contesting in the second phase.

The first phase of polling in 18 constituencies spread across eight Maoist-affected district was held on Monday.

The results of the election to the 90-member Chhattisgarh assembly will be declared on December 11.

IANS

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