Jolt to AAP as office allotment cancelled

Sources say land decisions not under govt purview.

New Delhi: In a major setback to the Aam Aadmi Party before it could come out of the Shunglu Committee report shocker, lieutenant-governor Anil Baijal has reportedly cancelled the allotment of Rouse Avenue office for the party headquarters. The development comes at a time when the AAP is faced with the crucial Rajouri Garden bypoll on April 9 and civic elections two weeks later.

The Shunglu report has pointed out “gross abuse of power” by the AAP dispensation, including the allotment of Rouse Avenue office without taking the approval of former lieutenant-governor Najeeb Jung.

Sources said that the decision to allot Rouse Avenue office should be considered “null and void” as the land decisions do not fall under the purview of the Delhi government. Also, the Rouse Avenue office, which was occupied by the party on January 25 last year, is meant for the use of a minister and should have a fixed rent payable. The office was earlier the accommodation of Harun Yusuf, who was a Cabinet minister during Sheila Dikshit’s tenure.

“It is clear that this decision to allot land to political party was really to validate allotment of government accommodation to the AAP and nothing more because it is common ground that the elected government does not have any power to deal with the subject of land, let alone allot it. The Cabinet decision enabled PWD minister Satyendar Jain to allot the above captioned accommodation to the AAP. This accommodation was occupied by AAP on January 25, 2016, and was fully furnished as per entitlement of a minister. The file does not contain any information regarding rent paid,” the report has pointed.

A three-member committee headed by former national auditor V.K. Shunglu said this week that its examination of hundr-eds of files and decisions revealed that Mr Kejri-wal’s government had failed to consult the lieutenant-governor for imp-ortant decisions on subjects on which, by law, he must be consulted.

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