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BJP sustains attack, Deputy CM sends defamation notices

New Delhi: Firing a fresh salvo on the AAP government, Delhi BJP on Wednesday alleged the budget for construction of nursery classrooms was increased by Rs 100 crore on "verbal" orders, prompting Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia to serve defamation notices to the saffron party leaders, including its state chief Manoj Tiwari.

The leaders of Delhi BJP claimed there has been a "scam" of Rs 2,000 crore in the construction of classrooms in Delhi government schools and sought the resignation of Sisodia, the incharge of the education department. Citing purported minutes of Delhi government's Finance Committee meeting in March 2018, Tiwari charged that the government built 366 nursery classrooms at an estimated cost of Rs 28.70 lakh for each of them.

"The minutes show an estimate of Rs 221.44 crore, which was revised to Rs 326.36 crore. The PWD was verbally authorised to complete the work pending formal approval," he said. The Delhi BJP did not disclose the source of the documents accessed by it through its spokesperson Harish Khurana and media relations head Neelkant Bakshi. Khurana said "verbal authorisation" for an amount to the tune of Rs 100 crore is not permitted as per CPW manual and its a "clear cut case of corruption".

Tiwari further claimed that in the meeting principal secretary(finance) "objected" that the nursery classrooms constructed by PWD were semi-permanent structures instead of permanent rooms.

In his legal notice to Tiwari, BJP's Leader of Opposition in Delhi Assembly Vijender Gupta and party MP Parvesh Verma, Sisodia accused them of defaming him through "offending publications" based on "cooked up" allegations and sought their "unqualified" apology.

Earlier, reacting to the charge of "scam", Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Sisodia dared Tiwari and his party to get them arrested or apologise to poor people in Delhi whose children were getting education at good quality government schools. Reacting to Sisodia's defamation notice, Tiwari asserted that BJP will not bow down to his "pressure tactics", and go ahead with filing a complaint with Lokayukta.

Delhi BJP Tuesday filed a police complaint in the alleged "scam" seeking a probe. Tiwari claimed, the police has forwarded the complaint to the Anti-Corruption Branch of the Delhi government.

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