NEW DELHI: The Delhi unit of the Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) launched a scathing attack on the ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government on Friday, accusing Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot of being the mastermind behind an alleged auto fitness certificate scam.
The BJP’s accusations came in the wake of recent arrests made by the Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) in connection with the said scam. The Opposition BJP had held a detailed press conference two months ago, shedding light on the matter.
“On April 21, Delhi BJP, through a press conference, exposed that the ongoing big scam of fitness and auto permit registration in the name of dead drivers is happening at Burari Fitness Center, instigated by Delhi’s Transport Minister Kailash Gehlot,” stated Virendra Sachdeva, president of BJP’s Delhi unit.
Additionally, the party brought attention to the alleged involvement of the NGO Manas Foundation in the scam. Sachdeva claimed that following pressure from the BJP, the Transport Department had abolished the mandatory training provided by the Manas Foundation.
Sachdeva emphasised that the Transport department’s role in the scam could be traced back to minister Gehlot’s instigation, thereby warranting a thorough investigation into his involvement. Sachdeva also raised suspicions of potential connection between the scam and chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, urging authorities to conduct a comprehensive examination of the matter.
On Thursday, the Anti-Corruption Branch arrested 14 individuals, including a motor vehicle inspector, ten high-profile auto financers, and three touts, as part of the ongoing investigation. During the course of the inquiry, the police discovered significant irregularities in the transfer and renewal of auto-rickshaw permits.
How ‘scam’ works
On April 21, Delhi BJP president Virendra Sachdeva alleged a “scam” in issuance of fitness test certificates for autorickshaws at the transport department’s fitness centre at Burari in north Delhi
Sachdeva alleged that training certificates and vehicle fitness test certificates were being issued in the name of deceased drivers. The auto driver had passed away on November 15, 2017 and his driving license number was used six times in 2022-23 for issuing training and fitness certificate, he charged.
Sachdeva said auto drivers going to the Burari centre for fitness test of their vehicles are made to undergo a training session and alleged they are issued certificates without any training. Also, there is just one inspector at the Centre who is supposed to handle the rush of autorickshaws, he said.
The centre has become a big means of “exploitation” of drivers and vehicle owners and they have to pay Rs 1500-2000 for getting training and fitness certificate through brokers, he alleged.
He said a delegation of Delhi BJP will meet Lt Governor VK Saxena with proof of alleged corruption at the Burari fitness centre and seek his intervention in the matter.