AAP Denies "Snooping" Allegations Against Manish Sisodia, BJP Seeks Probe

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) said the BJP's allegation that Manish Sisodia was involved in "political snooping" is "completely false"

AAP denied allegations that Manish Sisodia is doing "political snooping"

New Delhi:

A row erupted on Wednesday over a CBI report claiming political intelligence gathering by the Feedback Unit (FBU) formed by the AAP after coming to power in Delhi in 2015, with the BJP demanding registration of case against Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia.

Hitting back, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) said the BJP's allegation that Mr Sisodia was involved in "political snooping" is "completely false".

The Kejriwal government claimed in a statement that these all cases are "politically motivated". "The CBI and ED should rather investigate the dubious relationship between Modi and Adani where the real corruption happened," it alleged.

The CBI in its preliminary inquiry report found that the FBU formed through a Delhi cabinet decision on September 29, 2015 indulged in gathering political intelligence.

Delhi BJP president Virendra Sachdeva alleged that the AAP since its inception has been working with hostility towards its political opponents.

"The Kejriwal government formed FBU to keep an eye on not only its political opponents but Union Ministers, MPs, LG Office, media houses, leading businessmen and also the judges," Mr Sachdeva charged in a press conference.

The CBI in its report submitted to Vigilance department sought approval of the Lieutenant Governor (LG) who is competent authority in the matter, to register a case against Deputy CM Manish Sisodia who played an "active role" in creation of the FBU.

The central agency also sought permission of the LG for registering cases against others involved in functioning of the FBU.

Sources said LG VK Saxena has referred the CBI request to the President through the Ministry of Home Affairs, for registration of a case against Sisodia.

The LG has also sent the CBI recommendation to Home ministry, regarding registration of cases against then FBU joint director, RK Sinha, and FBU officers Pradeep Kumar Punj and Satish Khetrapa. Approval for the prosecution against then Vigilance director, Sukesh Kumar Jain, an IRS officer, will come from the Finance ministry, they said.

The approval has, however, been given by the LG for registration of a case against Delhi Chief Minister's advisor Gopal Mohan, the sources said.

The AAP in a statement said "the whole country knows political spying is done by Modi not Manish Sisodia. An FIR should be registered against Modi not Manish Sisodia," the party said in its statement.

The CBI report said that the FBU was tasked to gather actionable feedback regarding working of various departments of Delhi government and also to do "trap cases".

The FBU started functioning from February 2016 and a fund of Rs 1 crore was kept for it under "secret service expenditure". A rough analysis of nature of reports generated by the unit revealed that while 60 per cent of it was related to vigilance matters, political intelligence and other issues accounted for around 40 per cent, the report said.

"Scrutiny of such reports during the period from February 2016 to early September 2016 shows that a substantial number of reports submitted by FBU officials were not actionable feedback on corruption in any department, but related to political activities of persons, political entities and political issues touching political interest of the Aam Admi Party," the report said.

"The feedback unit was not functioning in the manner and for the purpose approved by the cabinet but was working for some other hidden purposes which were not in the interest of the GNCTD but private interest of Aam Admi Party and Manish Sisodia, the Dy CM, who played an active role in its creation of Feedback flouting established rules of GNCTD and MHA." charged the CBI report.

It also alleged that the "unlawful" manner of creation and working of the FBU caused loss of to the government exchequer to the tune of around Rs 36 lakh.

BJP MP Ramesh Bidhuri charged that the AAP government formed the FBU by misusing public fund and indulging in a "scam".

He demanded registration of FIR against Kejriwal and Sisodia charging they had "malafide intention" behind creation of the feedback unit.

Meanwhile, the Delhi government termed "all allegations" as "completely bogus".

"Till now, the CBI, ED and Delhi Police have registered so many cases against us. About 163 cases have been registered against us. However, the BJP has not been able to prove even a single case. About 134 of these cases have been dismissed by the courts and in the rest of the cases also, the BJP government has not been able to provide any evidence," it said in the statement.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)