New Delhi: Delhi BJP leaders on Sunday met President Pranab Mukherjee and demanded dismissal of Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit in the wake of the Lokayukta indicting her for allegedly misusing public funds on an advertisement campaign ahead of assembly polls in 2008. Delhi BJP MLAs, led by VK Malhotra, submitted a memorandum to Mukherjee requesting him to direct Dikshit to resign immediately or dismiss her government in view of the Lokayukta order against her.
Lokayukta Justice Manmohan Sarin last week had held Dikshit guilty of allegedly misusing public funds on an advertisement campaign to get political mileage ahead of last assembly polls and recommended recovery of Rs 11 crore either from her or the Congress party. "The Chief Minister must be removed as Lokayukta had held her guilty in a serious matter," Malhotra said after meeting the President. The opposition also alleged that the Delhi government was again misusig public funds by putting up hoarding in the city ahead of assembly polls later this year.
Justice Sarin had recommended to Mukherjee to administer "caution" to Dikshit for the alleged misuse of public funds for a series of advertisements carried out in print and outdoor media in 2007-08 with punchline 'Delhi is changing'. In the memorandum, the BJP said the Lokayukta had indicted Dikshit and her government on a number of "serious matters" earlier also but no action has been taken against them so far.
"The Delhi Lokayukta can only send recommendation to the President. On recommendation of the Lokayukta, the President seeks opinion of the Home Ministry and the Home Ministry sends back the queries to Delhi Government. And ultimately no action is taken against the guilty. Even the Lokayukta has said that the President has not been advised correctly," Malhotra said adding the the institution of the Lokayukta is being made "redundant" in Delhi.
Delhi BJP Chief Vijay Goel said following the Lokayukta order against Dikshit, Delhi government should immediately take off all its hoardings in the city. The Congress government recently put up hoardings across the city highlighting its achievements in the last 14 years.
"If the Delhi government fails to remove the hoardings within next three days, then Bhartiya Janta Yuva Morcha workers will paste posters on these hoardings carrying the message that 'Don't Misuse Public Money on these Hoardings for False Propaganda'," said Goel. The Lokayukta had initiated the inquiry into the matter following a complaint filed in 2009 by Vijender Gupta, former Delhi BJP president.
In his complaint, Gupta had charged Dikshit with abusing her position as chief minister by carrying out an advertisement campaign with a view to gain political mileage in the assembly election in 2008. In the memorandum, Malhotra cited a number of recommendation to the President by the Lokayukta against Dikshit in the last few years.
"On one hand we have a clear case of misue of public money and on the other hand we have even a more blatant use of public money going on right now with a similar modus operandi used in 2008. We have specific information that the government has spent more than RS 100 crore of public money over the last couple of months," alleged Goel.