The tussle between the NDA government at the Centre and Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) convenor Arvind Kejriwal reached fever pitch on Thursday, with the AAP releasing a 13-page detailed document explaining why and how it thought the BJP was trying to shield Finance Minister Arun Jaitley for corruption duting his stint as the chief of the Delhi & District Cricket Association (DDCA).
Jaitley, on his part, wrote on Facebook: "Free speech is unquestionably a pre-eminent Fundamental Right, but does free speech include the right to speak only falsehood? The Delhi Chief Minister, Mr. Arvind Kejriwal, seems to believe in untruth and defamation, delivered in a language that borders on hysteria. (sic)"
The storm had been brewing ever since the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) raided the Delhi Chief Minister's Office (CMO), purportedly in connection with a corruption case involving Rajendra Kumar, on Tuesday, 15 December.
While the CBI has maintained its stand that it had not raided the CM's office, Kejriwal first said Prime Minister Narendra Modi was a "coward" and a "psychopath" for allegedly engineering the raid at the CMO, and then went about looking to prove that Kumar was not the target.
Following a statement earlier that CBI officials had entered his office and looked at files on his table, Kejriwal and his party on Wednesday said the BJP-led NDA government was trying to undermine, or even sweep under the rug, allegations of corruption against Jaitley, a key minister in the Union Cabinet.
In the document released on Thursday, the AAP pointed to the huge rise in costs of reconstruction or renovation of the Feroze Shah Kotla, the home ground of the DDCA. It said while the initial budget was Rs 24 crore, it got inflated to Rs 114 crore over the course nearly a decade.
The AAP also alleged that while the Engineering Projects India Limited, which had initially been contracted for the job for around Rs 24 crore, received nearly Rs 57 crore of the total Rs 114 crore that was paid out, the other Rs 57 crore was paid to private firms who were contracted without the proper bidding process.
The party also said the money paid to the private firms actually went into the pockets of DDCA office-bearers, when Jaitley was the DDCA chief.