Inquiry started into corruption charges against North Delhi civic body mayor
If old isn't always gold then new isn't necessarily clean. The Bharatiya Janata Party has apparently been confronted by this situation after bringing fresh faces into Delhis municipal corporations in a bid to root out corruption.
Within a year in office, the mayor of North Municipal Corporation of Delhi (NMCD) has been embroiled in serious corruption charges in several tender processes as well as purchase of medicines and other contracts.
The civic body's vigilance department has initiated an inquiry into the allegations following instructions from lieutenant governor Anil Baijal. The Presidents House has also sought a status report on the matter. Chief vigilance officer (CVO) Mangesh Kashyap confirmed the development.
An inquiry is being conducted on allegations against mayor Preeti Aggarwal. The report will be submitted to the L-G House subsequently, he told Mail Today without divulging further details. Municipal commissioner Madhup Vyas refused to comment.
Mail Today is in possession of the communication from the Presidents House and Delhi Raj Niwas. Mayor Preeti Aggarwal rejected the charges.
The alleged interference with the tender process is baseless. The deliberative wing (political wing) of MCD is not at all involved with any tender process. If required, the matter is directly sent to the standing committee and the mayor has no role in the same. I am sure the vigilance department will find no wrongdoing on my part, she said.
The inquiry was ordered on the basis of a complaint lodged by a Delhi-based lawyer who alleged serious irregularities in awarding contracts, interfering with the tender process, various purchases as well as transfer and postings of officers in the corporation.
The complaint said the mayor pressured officials concerned to award contracts to her favourite people while she also hand-picked officials for posting in engineering and building departments that are considered the cream posts.
Aggarwal has also been indicted by the additional commissioner of NMCD who, in a report, has said the mayor illegally entered the office of the deputy commissioner (headquarters) while the tendering process was underway.
On November 13, 2017, the mayor entered the office of deputy commissioner K Mahesh while the evaluation of the tender for Civic Centre security was being conducted. She asked for tender documents to which the deputy commissioner replied it was not possible as it was a confidential matter, the report submitted by additional commissioner (revenue) Renu K Jagdev said.
The mayor allegedly had a fight with the deputy commissioner and after an argument, she left his office. According to the report, the mayor called a meeting the next day of senior functionaries, including the commissioner and the standing committee chairman, where the deputy commissioner was also present.
Mahesh offered his apologies and clarified that he did not intend to insult the mayor but he was trying to maintain the confidentiality and secrecy of the tendering process.
The mayor and the standing committee chairman were not satisfied with the response and sought the officer K Mahesh to be repatriated that very day from MCD to the Delhi government... The deputy commissioner has also prayed for his repatriation and registering an FIR against the Mayor for interfering in the process of tender evaluation, the report said.
Aggarwal brought major embarrassment to the BJP during a blaze at a firecracker factory in Bawana last month that killed 17 people. She was reportedly heard whispering to an aide, The licensing of the factory is with us, we cant say anything.