Politics

Manish Sisodia Questioned by CBI on Corruption Charges Over ‘Talk to AK’; AAP Terms It ‘Vendetta’

The CBI had started a preliminary enquiry on the basis of a complaint filed by the vigilance department of the Delhi government which had found irregularities in the process of hiring an advertising agency to promote the programme.

Deputy chief minister of Delhi, Manish Sisodia with chief minister Arvind Kejriwal. Credit: PTI

Deputy chief minister of Delhi, Manish Sisodia with chief minister Arvind Kejriwal. Credit: PTI

New Delhi: Officials of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Friday reached Delhi’s deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia’s residence to question him in a corruption case, sources have said. In January, the agency had started a preliminary inquiry against the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government’s deputy chief minister in a case involving alleged irregularities in ‘Talk To AK’ campaign.

‘Talk to AK’, which was an interactive session of Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, was held on July 17 last year. The programme was live streamed on the website www.talktoak.com.

It was reported in January this year that the CBI had started a preliminary enquiry on the basis of a complaint filed by the vigilance department of the Delhi government, which had found irregularities in the process of hiring an advertising agency to promote the programme. Holding out that the contract was worth Rs 1.5 crore, the vigilance department had held that the Delhi government had gone ahead with the proposal, despite objections from the principal secretary.

The case was referred to the CBI by former lieutenant governor of Delhi, Najeeb Jung, on the basis of the findings of the Shunglu Committee, which he had constituted under the chairmanship of former chief vigilance commissioner, V.K. Shunglu, to probe the various actions of the elected AAP government.

Recently, image management agency, Perfect Relations, had sent a letter to the Delhi government seeking “outstanding payment” towards services provided for the ‘Talk to AK’ campaign failing which it had threatened to withdraw its services and initiate legal proceedings.

The CBI has described its action at Sisodia’s residence as only a visit stating that search or raids could not be carried out in pursuance of a preliminary enquiry. The agency said its visit was to probe Sisodia’s role in connection with the case.

Meanwhile, AAP has termed the CBI’s action a “raid” and an act of vendetta of the BJP-led Narendra Modi government at the Centre.

Stating that the BJP was engaged in politics of vendetta, AAP said the raids were being carried out because it has “shaken the corrupt roots of conventional political parties through its people centric governance”.

(With PTI inputs)