The tiff between the Lieutenant Governor (L-G) of Delhi and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) was again in the fore on Monday after L-G Vinay Kumar Saxena ordered the Chief Secretary to recover Rs 97 crore from AAP for publishing political advertisements as government ads.
Reports quoting official sources said that a Committee on Content Regulation in Government Advertising had in 2016 directed the Directorate of Information and Publicity (DIP) to determine the amount spent for advertisements that were in “stark violation of guidelines” and recover it from the ruling AAP.
As per the DIP, Rs 97,14,69,137 had been spent or booked on account of “non-conforming advertisements”. “Of this, while payments amounting to over Rs 42.26 crore had already been released by the DIP, Rs 54.87 crore for advertisements published were still pending disbursal,” a source told PTI.
In 2017, the AAP was asked to pay over Rs 42.26 crore to the state exchequer immediately. Besides, the party was asked to pay directly the pending amount of Rs 54.87 crore to the advertising agencies or publications concerned within 30 days.
“However, even after the lapse of five years and eight months, the AAP has not complied with this DIP order,” the source said.
This comes amid AAP’s claims of “political vendetta” by the L-G, who has been appointed by the BJP government in the Centre. Two days ago, the L-G had approved proposals of several pending projects and appointment of several officers in the Municipal Corporation of Delhi. This move had irked the ruling AAP)since these appointments came just before the its team took over the civic body.
Saxena had also urged the Delhi High Court in August seeking to restrain the AAP and several of its leaders from levelling “false” allegations against him and his family. This came as the party claimed Saxena was involved in a a ₹1,400 crore scam during his tenure as the Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) chairman.
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