New Delhi, March 31 : The order of a panel formed by the central government to recover Rs 97 crore from the AAP for splurging on ads is a conspiracy, Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said on Friday.
He told the media that the three-member panel did not have the mandate to give the recommendation on recovery of money from the Aam Aadmi Party.
Lt. Governor Anil Baijal on Wednesday asked the Delhi government to recover Rs 97 crore it spent on certain advertisements from the AAP within a month.
The order followed the recommendations of the Committee on Content Regulation in Government Advertising (CCRGA) which found that the advertisements were used to promote the AAP instead of the government.
The three-member committee was formed on the basis of Supreme Court guidelines which said its members should be of “unimpeachable neutrality”.
Sisodia said the AAP was being targeted because of advertisements but the other governments did the same. Several governments organised five-star summits even outside their states to showcase their work.
“Every government showcases its work and gives advertisements. Former Delhi Chief Minister went to London to showcase her government’s works but only AAP is targeted. If the Congress does the same it is advertisement. When we do, it is misuse,” Sisodia said.
“The order to recover Rs 97 crore from AAP is a conspiracy to suppress AAP’s voice against corruption,” he said.
“We will tell the masses what work we are doing, which is our right as an elected government. We will also tell the public the problems we are facing. Do whatever you (central government) want.”
Sisodia said that the government – not the party – only advertised its work.
“What crime has the AAP committed and why should it pay? Did AAP order those advertisements?” Sisodia asked.
He alleged that the committee had no authority to recommend recovery of money from the party as the Supreme Court had not given any such instruction to the panel.