Since 2013, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has chosen to ignore three warnings and serious allegations of graft against his Principal Secretary and IAS officer Rajendra Kumar, raising pertinent questions over the AAP leader’s commitment to rid the country of the scourge of corruption.
After the CBI raids on Kumar, an apparently agitated Kejriwal said he would have taken action himself had he been informed about it, vowing to “not spare even my own son if accused of corruption”.
However, the India chapter of global anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International (TI) claims it wrote to the Delhi CM in May this year urging him to probe serious allegations of corruption against Kumar. Yet, Kejriwal took no action in this regard against his former IIT batchmate.
“We had sent a letter to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in May this year after we received complaints charging IAS officer Rajendra Kumar with involvement in serious cases of graft. Though we do not wish to disclose the name of the complainant at this point of time, we have also not received any response from the CM,” TI-India Executive Director Ashutosh Sharma said on Tuesday.
NewsGram spoke to TI-India Deputy Director Pankaj Kumar in this regard. However, the organization refused to share any further information than what has already been released to media, lest questions should be raised about their neutrality.
“We’re a neutral, non-government, non-party and not-for-profit organization. Therefore, we do not wish to indulge in politics. Whatever we wanted to share with regard to graft allegation against Rajendra Kumar was shared with media yesterday. We have nothing to add to what has already been conveyed, lest we should be seen taking sides,” Pankaj Kumar told NewsGram.
But this was not the first time Kejriwal was warned about Rajendra Kumar. In 2013, as Kejriwal was en route to the historic Ramlila Maidan to take an oath as the Chief Minister of Delhi, AAP volunteer Om Prakash sent an email to him raising a red flag against the IAS officer. NewsGram is in possession of the email that Kejriwal apparently chose to ignore.
“Dear Arvind Kejriwal ji, I humbly wish to bring it to your notice the IAS officer Rajendra Kumar whom you have appointed as your Principal Secretary was Education Director in Sheila Dikshit-led Delhi government. Kumar then together with Sandeep Dikshit established a computer firm, causing a loss of crores of rupees to the Education department which continues unabated till date. All relevant contracts were not allotted to the National Information Centre (NIC). Rather they appointed persons known to them in the computer department. Please look into the matter and take appropriate action, lest a corrupt official becomes part of an honest government, sabotaging its credibility,” Om Prakash wrote (in Hindi) to Kejriwal on December 27, 2013.
NewsGram spoke to Om Prakash in this regard.
“Truth is the truth and I believe that sooner or later justice gets delivered. I considered Kejriwal ji an honest person. That is why before he took the oath as Delhi Chief Minister, I warned him about Rajendra Kumar. However, surprisingly he did not take any action. In fact, when I tried to meet him later in 2014, I was forcibly shown the door of his office. I am just a common man and a teacher. I had high hopes for AAP, but it is a pity that Kejriwal chose to ignore my warnings,” Om Prakash told NewsGram.
Prakash said, apart from this, he also tried to bring to Kejriwal’s notice the alleged irregularities in purchasing of over 500 soundproof generators by Rajendra Kumar for schools in Delhi which still remain unused and in a shabby condition. He also met Education Minister Manish Sisodia in this regard in 2013.
“Sisodia told me that relevant files were missing from the Delhi Secretariat,” Om Prakash said.
Furthermore, the CBI raid reportedly came following a complaint filed in July this year with the CBI and the anti-corruption branch of the state government by former member-secretary of the Delhi Dialogue Commission (DDC) Ashish Joshi, accusing Kumar of indulging in graft. Joshi was dismissed by the AAP government after he sparred with AAP leader Ashish Khetan and was repatriated to his parent cadre; i.e. the Union Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, in May.
Kejriwal and DDC Chairman Ashish Khetan later wrote to the telecom ministry alleging that Joshi was on several occasions found smoking and chewing tobacco in his office.
However, Joshi on July 13 reportedly filed a complaint with the CBI alleging that Kumar, along with his friends “had floated a company which he later got empanelled with a public sector unit for doing works for departments without tenders.” His complaint culminated in the CBI raid on Tuesday.