A few days after the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) was slammed by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India for violating the Supreme Court’s regulation on expenditure on advertising, the Bharatiya Janata Party expressed its concern over the matter indicating it to be a ‘misuse of Delhi taxpayers’ money’.
On Friday, the CAG presented its report on social sector for the financial year 2015-16 in the Delhi Assembly, where it was highlighted that over Rs. 28 crore was spent on advertisements in areas outside of Delhi, which do not fall under the government’s jurisdiction.
Additionally, the AAP government was also pulled up for violating the Supreme Court’s ‘political neutrality’ clause by highlighting the name and symbol of the party in official advertisements, and also for terming the Delhi Government as ‘Kejriwal sarkar’ or ‘Jhadu sarkar’.
To this regard, BJP’s R.P. Singh noted that the lack of proper documentation is a clear indicator of Kejriwal’s Government indulging in promotional activities to highlight the AAP.
“The AAP is only using advertisements to promote its ideologies. There are ads in Mumbai, Chennai, Ranchi and Punjab, states which have no connection with the programs being advertised. This clearly shows that the party is only interested in promotional activities rather than substantial schemes. This is how taxpayers in Delhi are being looted,” Singh told ANI.
The CAG’s report also highlighted the presence of unverified content on the advertisement campaigns. In terms of budget allocation on Mohalla clinics, the Delhi budget highlighted that the expenditure has been reduced from Rs. five crore to Rs. 20 lakh. However, the Government was not able to present any document in support of this claim.
“There were advertisements regarding expenditure on flyovers which are not even built. This is a serious lapse,” added Singh.
The auditing body further stated that the expense report has been drafted based on assessment of estimated expenditure and not on real expenditure itself.
Furthermore, the auditor highlighted the failure of Shabdarth, a registered society set up under the department of information and publicity, in rationalising the costs incurred on advertisements.