NEW DELHI: The Anti Corruption Branch (ACB) headed by M K Meena on Wednesday ordered an inquiry into alleged irregularities in procurement and sale of onions by the Delhi Government.
The move by Meena, whose appointment by Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung had been opposed by the Delhi Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal , comes two days after an RTI activist and BJP leader, Vivek Garg, filed a complaint with the anti-graft body seeking a probe into it.
In a strong reaction the Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said that this is kind of witch hunt by the central government and they were ready for an investigation.
"We have today heard that Modi ji has initiated an ACB probe into it because ACB is presently working under him. ACB chief M K Meena openly says that he has directions from the PMO and even central government also says that ACB is theirs. ACB is probing the alleged onion scam at the behest of Modi government and we are ready for any type of probe," said Sisodia.
ACB sources said a separate team has been formed and the probe has already begun.
"Initially, a five-member team has been formed but more personnel may be added as and when needed," they said.
Sisodia further criticized the step motherly treatment by the central government when it comes to scams.
“We will also send all these files to PMO, but we also want Modiji to ask the Lt Governor to also send all files related to Rs 100-crore CNG fitness scam to our Commission of Inquiry. They (LG) are running away from the probe," Sisodia said.
The Delhi government on Sunday had rubbished reports of any irregularities in procurement and sale of onions at subsidised rates.
Sisodia, while dismissing the allegations, had even indicated that the government may take action against those trying to "defame" it.
The government had claimed that onions were procured from a SFAC (Small Farmers, Agri Business Consortium), which is a central-government agency at Rs 32.86 per kg.
"Delhi government through its Fair Price Shops (FPSs) tried to make onions available to people at Rs 30, even though onions were being sold through Centre's outlets at Rs 38-40. Safal was selling onions at Rs 38-40 while DMS was selling at Rs 35," Sisodia said.
Meanwhile various anonymous hoardings were put up in the city alleging that that the high onion price includes “Arvind “Kejriwal Tax ”.
The AAP government asked the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) to find out who put up hoardings in its areas.
The hoardings that recently came up refer to allegations that the AAP government was selling onions at Rs 40 a Kg despite of procuring them at Rs 18 a Kg. They attribute the difference in prices to the "Kejriwal Tax".
The advertisements also bear the logo of the Delhi government - "Delhi Sarkar, AAP ki Sarkar".
"We have directed the NDMC to probe who put up the hoardings in its areas targeting the Delhi government. It's a case of impersonation," said a senior government official.
NDMC officials not clarifying whether they will file an FIR said they have taken a note of such hoardings and initiated a process to remove them.
"We have received instructions and found out that such hoardings were put up at certain places. We are in a process of removing them," a senior NDMC official said.