Delhi Lieutenant Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena orders Chief Secretary to recover Rs 97 crore from AAP for “political ads that were published as government ads”

Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena with Chief Minister and AAP boss Arvind Kejriwal at a function. (File)

New Delhi:

Days after the AAP ran a successful poll campaign for Delhi’s civic body, the Lieutenant Governor has ordered that the party pay Rs 97 crore for state government ads that were allegedly used for the party’s promotion instead. 

Earlier this month, the AAP, which holds power in the Delhi assembly since 2015, ended the 15-year reign of the BJP in the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD). 

Lt Governor VK Saxena has taken the action on ads because the AAP allegedly violated orders of the Supreme Court (2015) and the Delhi High Court (2016), besides norms set by the court-mandated Committee on Content Regulation in Government Advertising (2016), reported news agency ANI.

The Chief Secretary has been directed to recover the money spent from Delhi government funds.

The AAP has been alleging “political vendetta” by the Lieutenant Governor, who is appointed by the central government and has control over several wings of Delhi’s governance in a complex — often confusing and conflicted — distribution of powers in the national capital.

Runs-in between successive appointees and Arvind Kejriwal’s AAP government are now regular fixtures, ranging from corruptions allegations at each other and contradictory orders on administrative matters.

One of the AAP ministers has been in jail since June on charges of money laundering, while AAP’s Number 2, Manish Sisodia, has also faced raids for alleged corruption in the since-withdrawn liquor sales policy.

The AAP has accused Mr Saxena of corruption during his tenure as head of the Khadi and Village Industries Commission before he became Lieutenant Governor.

Mr Saxena has sued the AAP over alleged defamation on social media, at which the court told the party to take down certain tweets.

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