A New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) meeting, chaired by chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday, descended into chaos after members of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) raised the issue of alleged irregularities during the renovation of the CM’s official residence.
Minutes after the meeting began, BJP members of the council — vice-chairperson Satish Upadhyay, and members Kuljeet Chahal and Vishakha Sailani —raised the issue, asking questions about the ₹45 crore expenditure by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government to renovate the residence.
Amid the chaos, the meeting that usually lasts for two to three hours was wrapped up in under 30 minutes.
NDMC vice chairman Satish Upadhyay, in a press conference after the meeting, accused Kejriwal of deflecting the questions by attempting to move on to the agenda items. “This was the first time the NDMC meeting has seen disruptions. We raised the issue of the massive expenditure made on the CM house renovation and corruption in which he was involved. People have paid taxes and their tax money has been misused in this house revamp,” Upadhyay said.
NDMC members Chahal said that this was the first time in NDMC’s history that a meeting witnessed such ruckus. “Kejriwal had promised that he would not take any facilities after being elected. We displayed the photographs of his home in the meeting and sought answers about the expenditure made in the revamp. He continued to stare at us but did not give a single answer,” Chahal said.
The CM office or the AAP government did not respond to requests for a comment about the BJP’s allegations. However, the AAP has earlier said that the CM residence is not a personal property, but a house allotted to the chief minister by the government.
The BJP and the Congress have been attacking the AAP over alleged irregularities in the renovation of the Flagstaff Road bungalow, and the LG on Monday directed the Delhi chief secretary to submit a detailed report on a complaint by Congress’s Ajay Maken.
However, the AAP has said that before the renovations, the CM house was in a dilapidated condition, having been built 80 years ago in 1942.