NEW DELHI: Taking the tussle between the Centre and Delhi government to a new level, the CBI on Monday arrested Rajendra Kumar, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, in connection with an alleged E50-crore scam. The CBI also arrested Tarun Sharma, a deputy secretary in the CM’s office and three others for providing undue favours to a private company in awarding government contracts.
The arrest is expected to escalate friction between the two parties, not only in Delhi but in states due for Assembly polls next year. Terming it an “unprecedented development in 23 years”, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said Kumar’s arrest clearly indicated that the BJP was trying to paralyse the CM’s office as they feared defeat at the hands of the AAP in the upcoming Assembly polls.
The CBI had registered a case against Kumar and others in December last year, alleging that the officer had abused his official position by “favouring a particular firm in the last few years in getting tenders of Delhi government departments”.
The deputy CM also questioned the timing of the arrest, saying a conspiracy is being hatched to destabilise the whole system.
The CBI alleged that the accused had entered into a criminal conspiracy and caused a loss of E12 crore to the Delhi Government in awarding contracts between 2007 and 2015, and claimed that the officials had taken “undue benefit” of over E3 crore while awarding the contracts.
Like Kejriwal, Rajendra Kumar is also an IIT alumnus. Considered as the “blue eyed boy” of the CM, he was appointed as his Principal Secretary in February 2015.