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ACB to probe onion sale, Aam Aadmi Party government cries foul

AAP govt accused the Centre of being behind the onion sale probe but maintained that it was ready to face any investigation.

Mail Today Bureau   New Delhi     Last Updated: September 24, 2015  | 08:59 IST
ACB to probe onion sale, AAP government cries foulACB to probe onion sale, AAP government cries foul
(Photo: Mail Today)

The Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) of the Delhi government on Wednesday ordered an investigation into alleged irregularities in purchase and sale of onions by the AAP government.

Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia accused the Centre of being behind the move but maintained that the AAP government was ready to face any investigation. AAP has been against the appointment of MK Meena as the ACB chief.

Two days after the Supreme Court observed that the governance in Delhi was taking a hit because of fights between the Aam Aadmi Party and the Centre, ACB Meena formed a special team to probe the matter. The move has invited sharp reactions from the government.

"We have called for an investigation after receiving complaints of irregularities in procurement of onions," Meena said. ACB sources said initially a five-member team has been formed and the probe has already begun. More personnel could be pressed into investigation, they added.

The move comes a day after an RTI activist lodged a complaint with Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung and the ACB, demanding the registration of an FIR in the case.

The Delhi unit of the BJP has also made a similar demand while accusing the AAP government of selling onions at higher prices than the actual cost of procurement. The charge has been refuted by the AAP government which said the onions were procured from a central government agency, SFAC, at Rs 32.86 per kg and sold at a subsidized price of Rs 30 per kg.

The development also came on a day the Delhi High Court asked state government and the Centre to show some constraint and not take any coercive measure against each other.

While the court directed the Centre not to take any coercive measures against Delhi government officials for not following the L-G's orders, it also restrained the AAP government from taking any coercive steps in connection with the ACB to probe onion sale.

Meanwhile, reacting to the ACB move, Sisodia said the Delhi government was ready for any investigation into procurement of onions.

Crying foul over the Commission of Inquiry proceedings in the CNG fitness scam, Sisodia said that he wonderes why the Centre was not forthcoming in ensuring a fair probe into the CNG fitness scam.

"We have heard that Modiji has initiated an ACB probe into it because ACB is presently working under him. ACB chief MK Meena openly says that he has directions from the PMO and even the central government also says that ACB is theirs. ACB is probing the alleged onion scam at the behest of Modi government and we are ready for any type of probe," he said.

"We will send all files related to onion purchase to the PMO but we also want Modiji to ask the Lt Governor to send all files related to the Rs 100-crore CNG fitness scam to our Commission of Inquiry. They (LG) are running away from the probe," the deputy CM added.

Sisodia accused Jung of noncooperation in the CNG fitness scam probe, and said he should not 'create hindrance in the work of the Commission of Inquiry'.

"The LG, who at times issues orders that this Commission of Inquiry will not work, at times directs that payment to this commission should not be released and at times also goes to court to save himself from the commission, should not do this. Modi ji should also ask the LG to appear before the Commission of Inquiry and face its questions related to the CNG fitness scam," Sisodia said.

(In association from Mail Today)


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