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LG asks AAP to return state's Rs 97 cr spent on Kejriwal's ads

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LG asks AAP to return state's Rs 97 cr spent on Kejriwal's ads

New Delhi: Fresh tension are bound to start between the state and Centre, Delhi lieutenant governor Anil Baijal has written to chief secretary M M Kutty, directing him to immediately issue notice to Aam Aadmi Party for recovery of money spent on advertisements by the Arvind Kerjiwal-led government in violation of Supreme Court guidelines.

The amount, to be paid within 30 days of the notice, is said to be at least Rs 97 crore.

The committee on content regulation of government advertising had forwarded its report to the Delhi chief secretary, through a September 16 letter last year, for action on the issue.

The committee had directed the Delhi government to assess the expenditure incurred by it on certain categories of advertisements and get it reimbursed from the political party concerned.

Kejriwal's media advisor, Arunoday Prakash, said, "Neither the CM nor the deputy CM have been informed about the development. We would not like to say anything till we get an intimation on this."

Reports say said monthly reminders since September from the committee to the LG's office for an action taken report were forwarded to the Delhi government. On March 17, the LG's office is learnt to have received another letter from the committee, saying it was still awaiting a reply. Finally, Baijal is learnt to have called for the file through the chief secretary to know the status and cause of the delay .

It is learnt that various Delhi government departments have so far paid Rs 42 crore to agencies for the advertisements under scrutiny. Another Rs 55 crore remains to be paid.

The LG specified that "the notice should give full details of all advertisements and fix a timeline of 30 days from the date of issue to reimburse the amount to the government exchequer." The CS has also been asked to fix responsibility of officials involved and submit an interim report.

After LG's directive, Delhi BJP has asked for Kejriwal's resignation as Delhi CM.


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