Home Politics Does AAP have answers to these questions on their extravagant food bills?

Does AAP have answers to these questions on their extravagant food bills?

Latest in the series of embarrassing revelations about the ostentatious lifestyle that Aam Aadmi Party leaders, and in particular their supremo Arvind Kejriwal seem to leading, is a set of bills for catering allegedly at his official residence. Raised by The Delhi Tourism and Tpt Development Corporation, they are for meals provided by Taj Mahal Hotel at exorbitant rates of Rs 12,472 and  Rs 16,025 per plate (on 11 Feb 2016 and 12 Feb 2016).

This comes on the heels of revelations of similar extravagances at public expense – Rs 1 Crore worth samosas (including Rs 47 Lakh worth at office and residence of Arvind Kejriwal), Rs 1.05 Crore paid to a PR agency for promoting Kejriwal’s social media outreach program ‘Talk to AK’ in Punjab, Goa and Gujarat, and the move to pay legal bill of about Rs 3 Crore for a personal defamation case of Kejriwal from public money. This gross misuse of taxpayer’s money is only surpassed in its brazenness by the arguments offered by the party and its leaders in their defence.

- Ad - - article resumes -

In this instance, terming the allegations as “a ploy by the BJP to defame the party before municipal elections”, the Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia has said that although these bills were sent to him for clearance, he never approved them. This follows the typical pattern of AAP responses – counter allegations of the charges being conspiracy by opposing forces, and obfuscate issues instead of giving a factual refutation. The aim, it seems, is to brazen it out, deflect attention and try to turn the tables by counter allegations, playing the victim card. However, they must credit people with a little more intelligence rather than expecting them to accept their conspiracy theories without raising some questions – for instance the following needs to be explained about the ‘Case of the Costly Catering’.

Since Sisodia has admitted that the bills were put up to him for approval, it’s established that the bills themselves are genuine and not fabricated, and the catering was actually provided on the dates mentioned, at Arvind Kejriwal’s residence. Sisodia’s contention is that he asked for an investigation why the bills were so high and returned the file. Does this mean that food had been ordered without enquiring about and negotiating the rates beforehand? That’s what anyone spending their own hard-earned money would do while catering for a private event – so why such a cavalier attitude with public money?

Since it’s been over a year since, the other questions that arise are – what happened to the investigation that Sisodia claims he ordered? And what happened to the outstanding bill? If indeed an investigation had been ordered and conducted, why aren’t the findings being put in public domain? After all, how long does it take to fix accountability in such a scenario? That is, of course, if it is indeed the intention to do so. And was the bill ultimately settled? If so, who paid it? And if not, why is the vendor / caterer being penalised for a service that has already been provided a year ago?

Is it possible that the expenditure was incurred on the direct orders of Arvind Kejriwal himself, and that Sisodia was not in the loop? That is why the amount came as a shock when the bills were put up to him for sanction, and probably being more conscientious than Kejriwal, he refused to sanction the amount as he’s asserting. That would also explain the enquiry being a non-starter.

The other interesting aspect is Sisodia’s allegation that the bills have been ‘leaked’ by BJP for electoral gains in MCD polls. For a party that professes absolute transparency, was the intention to keep such expenses under wraps that their disclosure in public domain is being seen as a ‘leak’ which is potentially politically damaging?

Extravagance by political parties and politicians isn’t a new phenomenon in our environment. Some apologists may claim that other parties and governments are equally profligate so why is AAP always singled out for such scrutiny. The answer to that they came up on the promise of being a party with a difference, their whole USP being their assurance of ending the VVIP culture and not missing public resources. It seems those were mere words, ‘jumlas’ to garner support and votes, only to be discarded once the fruits of power became irresistible. And on the flip side, on the performance front the government doesn’t have much to show for itself. It is this sense of disappointment and betrayal that is probably costing them election after election, and has led to everything the party says being taken with a pinch of salt now.

Help Opindia Reach Every Indian. Share This Post
We need your support to survive in the media industry. Please consider paying us for the content we produce:

To know more about these payments, please click here.


Big Story

The enduring problem of Jammu and Kashmir is because of the monumental mistakes made by then PM Jawaharlal Nehru.

2019 World Cup Is Here!

Catch the latest on Cricket World Cup as it unfolds, special coverage by Opindia

Proud to be a brand - Made in India?
Now, Advertise on Opindia

Sushma Swaraj shuts down trolls

Former EAM Sushma Swaraj shuts down a troll, Irfan Khan, who wishes death upon her

Sushma Swaraj was condoling death of former Delhi BJP President when troll insinuated that she too will die soon.

Hey, New York Times, F**k you, again

India successfully tested anti-satellite missile today, springing it into the elite space club.

Is there a concerted attempt to sow doubts against PM Modi among his most loyal base?

By now, everyone of us who is out there on social media is aware of this strange new phenomenon.
Exclusive interview with BLF chief Dr Allah Nazar Baloch with OpIndia

Pakistan plundering Balochistan, we appeal PM Modi to support freedom struggle: Dr Allah Nazar Baloch of BLF speaks exclusively to OpIndia

Away from the glare of the world that often talks tall on Human Rights and the rights of the indigenous people, Balochistan bleeds at the hands of Pakistan. OpIndia interviews founder and chief of Balochistan Liberation Front, Dr Allah Nazar Baloch
Andrea sobs while pleading that her husband is innocent

Abusive actor Ajaz Khan who was arrested for inciting communal tension was ‘framed’, claims his wife, says he did nothing wrong

Khan was arrested by Mumbai Police on Wednesday last week for posting objectionable videos amounting to communal incitement on Tiktok and other social media websites
Islamic extremism

Two youths, Shekhar and Basant forced to chant religious slogans by a mob that showed them Tabrez Ansari’s video, stabbed when refused

As Shekhar and Basant refused to raise religious slogans, the angry men reportedly stabbed them with knives.

Live updates Karnataka Trust Vote: House reassembles, Speaker has given 6 PM deadline for the trust vote

JDS-Congress government of Karnataka is facing their second floor test after assembly elections were held in May last year.
Two Kanwariyas beaten up

Communal tension in Jaunpur as two Kanwariyas beaten up by Arif and Riyaz for chanting ‘Bol Bom’

Two Muslim men beat up the Kanwariyas for refusing to stop chanting 'Bol-Bum'

Class nine student beaten by senior students for protesting ‘Allah Hu Akbar’ during National Anthem singing in school

When a Hindu student protested allah hu akbar chants during national anthem in school, he was badly thrashed by Muslim students

Watch: Videos from moments before the horrific Sonbhadra massacre

The videos seem to have been taken by a local villager who perhaps had no inkling that he/she was about to record brutal killings of ten people.
Subscribe to Day's Top Stories
- Advertisment -

Latest articles

Connect with us

173,762FansLike
160,343FollowersFollow
74,914SubscribersSubscribe
Help Opindia Reach Every Indian. Share This Post