Millennium Post (Kolkata)

ED summons...

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In response to the summons in the second case, Delhi minister Atishi expressed to reporters on Sunday that the specifics of this DJB case are unclear. She suggested that this could be a contingenc­y plan to detain Kejriwal and hinder his campaign for the

Lok Sabha elections. The ED alleged in the DJB case that bribe money obtained from corruption in a contract issued by this Delhi government department was funnelled as election funds to the AAP, which currently governs the national capital. As part of this investigat­ion in February, the ED conducted raids at the residences of Kejriwal’s personal assistant Bibhav Kumar, AAP Rajya Sabha MP N D Gupta, former DJB member Shalabh Kumar, chartered accountant Pankaj Mangal, and others. The basis of the ED case is a CBI FIR alleging that Jagdish Kumar Arora, former chief engineer of DJB, granted a DJB contract to NKG Infrastruc­ture Ltd for a total cost of Rs 38 crore, despite the company not meeting the technical eligibilit­y criteria.

On January 31, the ED arrested Arora and a contractor named Anil Kumar Aggarwal in this case. The agency alleged that NKG Infrastruc­ture Ltd secured the bid by submitting falsified documents and that Arora was cognizant of the fact that the company did not meet the technical eligibilit­y.

The ED statement suggested that Arora received bribe money in cash and in bank accounts after awarding the contract to NKG Infrastruc­ture Ltd. This money was then distribute­d to various individual­s managing the affairs at DJB, including those associated with AAP.

The agency claimed that the bribe money was also funnelled as election funds to AAP. This is the second instance where the federal agency has accused AAP of accepting kickbacks. It alleged that bribe money from the scrapped excise policy of 2021-22 was utilised by the Arvind Kejriwal-led party for campaignin­g in the Goa Assembly elections. Following the raids, Delhi minister Atishi stated in a press briefing that the agency officials merely sat in Bibhav Kumar’s living room and only took two Gmail account downloads and three family phones with them.

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