M A I N   N E W S

A Tribune Exclusive
No reason for me to resign: Dikshit
Says CAG hasn’t indicted her
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 6
Despite the raging controversy over yesterday’s report of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) indicting the Delhi government for not exercising due diligence while organising the Commonwealth Games, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, in an exclusive interview to The Tribune today, denied any plan or possibility of her stepping down. The Congress core committee, which met earlier in the day, also decided to throw its weight behind her. Party spokesman Janardan Dwivedi asserted that the CAG report had spoken of ‘over-spending’ that could have been avoided and denied that it was an indictment of the CM.

“There was nothing against me personally”, she said. Referring to BJP’s demand for her resignation, she added, “…It is their job... they are doing it”. Dikshit added: “If there’s anything about corruption that is pointing to me, I would be the first one to say please I am guilty and go. But why should I go when there is no indictment . There is nothing”

The Chief Minister pointed to the multiplicity of agencies that could have caused delays and cost escalation. She claimed that the CAG had ‘wrongly’ clubbed all accounts of all agencies. The report was tabled in both House of Parliament yesterday. “The CAG is basically an accounting body to audit accounts. Whatever perception the CAG gives in its report, it does not always go into the depth of the issues…let it be tabled before the Public Accounts Committee, I will give my version”, Dikshit said in interview to the Editor-in-Chief of The Tribune, Raj Chengappa, here this evening. “No Minister or Chief Minister allots tenders. There is an existing works manual of the Central Public Works Department that is followed…. anybody who breached it, will be punished”. Delhi is not like other states where all bodies report to the Chief Minister, Dikshit said as she pointed to the multiple layers and multiple agencies that operate in the national capital. While several agencies like the Delhi Development Authority, Delhi Police, New Delhi Municipal Council, Municipal Corporation of Delhi, Sports Authority of India (SAI) and other agencies were involved, some of them are under the Union Urban Development Ministry, some under the Union Home Ministry while SAI is under the Union Ministry of Sports, said the Chief Minister who has been at the helm for the past 13 years.

“All these agencies have their own independent administration”, she added. Besides, the Organising Committee (OC) of the Games, which controlled the entire process and preparations , was also not under the Delhi Government. “In such an administrative mess, one agency has to take permission of another agency while doing the development work that resulted in delays, which could have caused cost escalations in construction and other projects,” she said, adding that the “CAG, while auditing the accounts of all the projects clubbed them together.” Lauding her government’s efforts in successfully organising the CWG in October last year, the Chief Minister said “I would like to say two things - first, quality of construction was good and secondly whatever was done, like construction of roads, flyovers, stadia, upgradation of roads, beautification, lightning were done with specific needs of the Games, which was hosted for the first time in India.” It was the largest sports event after Asiad in 1982, she recalled. “The government has done all this with legacy value and to make Indians proud of the Games. We did the Games well. We care proud of it”, she said. Giving an example she added, “ The OC had a plan to bring athletes from Commonwealth Games Village located in East Delhi to the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium. But roads like Ring Road were not good enough for this purpose; so the government decided to construct Barapulla elevated corridor that is a legacy for the city.”

Some of the Games venues were in North Delhi. To transport the athletes to North Delhi, the government had constructed Salimgarh by-pass on the stretch between Rajghat and Red Fort, she added.The Games were held successfully. All the legacies, besides the lightning, beautification and greenery, are there for the city residents. The street lighting in Delhi is the best in the country, she said. She admitted, however, that there might have been some “slips” while getting such a major project done”.

The full transcript of this exclusive interview will be published soon.





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