The AAP on Tuesday lashed out at LG V K Saxena over his direction to recover Rs 97 crore from the party for political advertisements published allegedly in the guise of government advertisements, comparing him with Mughal emperor Aurangzeb and mocking his order as “another love letter” which has no legal value.
Chief AAP spokesperson Saurabh Bharadwaj claimed state governments ruled by the BJP spent 22,000 crore on advertisements, and party chief JP Nadda should tell when will they return it to the exchequer.
The angry reaction from the Delhi’s ruling party came after official sources said LG Saxena has directed the chief secretary to recover Rs 97 crore from the AAP for political advertisements it published in the guise of government advertisements.
“The most important aspect here is that the LG has no power to speak on this matter. In our films we come across dialogues such as ‘Aurangzeb aa rahe hain aur woh apna farmaan sunaayenge’ (Aurangzeb is coming and he will announce his decree). I think the LG should soon expect himself to be addressed in a similar way,” Bharadwaj said, referring to the 18th century Mughal emperor often criticised for his policies and actions.
He alleged the LG is issuing directives on matters he has no legal power on. “He is beginning to think of himself as a Shahenshah (emperor) and pass orders which have absolutely no legal standing.” He alleged the LG was acting at the behest of the BJP and the order was his another “love letter” to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. “We have said this earlier as well. As we get closer to the Valentine’s Day, the number of letters from the LG would increase,” he added.
He claimed the BJP was getting sleepless nights now that the AAP has become a national party.
“Also, with the way the people of Delhi defeated the BJP in the recently concluded MCD elections, the BJP is now starting to directly attack the people of Delhi. Now this matter is not about AAP vs BJP, but it has become BJP vs the people of Delhi, and therefore the BJP is starting to obstruct the work of the state government that will assist the people of Delhi,” he claimed.
Bharadwaj claimed that the BJP ‘has asked’ the LG to refuel an old issue regarding the advertisement spending of the Delhi government and stressed it was sorted out earlier, but was being raked up again.
“He is asking us why advertisements by the Delhi government are being published in newspapers that are being circulated outside Delhi. I looked at the newspapers of the last one month, and I don’t think there is any state with a BJP-ruled government that has not published advertisements in newspapers that are circulated in Delhi,” he said.
Bharadwaj said if the ads of BJP-ruled states such as Gujarat, Karnataka, Uttarakhand, Arunachal Pradesh, etc are taken into account, the costs will be around Rs 22,000 crore.
“The BJP has come forward to ask the Delhi government to pay Rs 97 crores, but what about the Rs 22,000 crore that has been spent by your own party in different states of the country? When will you pay back this amount? We want to ask the national president of BJP, Shri JP Nadda, when will his party pay this amount to the other state governments in the country? Let them come forward and pay this Rs 22,000 crore and then we will pay the Rs 97 crore,” he said.
Bharadwaj also said the LG had pointed out that the Delhi government spent crores of rupees to advertise the Pusa biodecomposer, while the value of the biodecomposer itself was just in lakhs.
“How illogical an argument is this? The cost in this scenario is not of the item, but it is of spreading awareness,” he said.