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A multi-crore scam that could rock Delhi CM's chair

August 03, 2007 02:55 IST

Raids by the Central Bureau of Investigation at the residence of Delhi assembly canteen contractor Ashok Malhotra has all the makings of a scam, which could well rock the boat for Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit.

Raids revealed that the former auto rickshaw driver and canteen contractor had an astounding 5,000 land documents in his possession, apart from at least 50 foreign cars and 10 motorcycles, which have VIP number plates.

The land documents pertained to plots earmarked by the DDA to be allocated to displaced slum dwellers.

The CBI on July 26 had filed a chargesheet against Malhotra and five DDA employees, including three former deputy directors, who had siphoned off crores by selling plots meant for allocation to displaced slum dwellers. The investigative agency found that the plots had been allotted to fictitious persons.

Malhotra's connection with the Delhi assembly could lay the Dikshit government open to charges of collusion.

The opposition BJP demanded that Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit resign owing moral responsibility.

"The Congress government cheated the poor slum dwellers. Dikshit should own moral responsibility considering the revelations regarding the scam and tender her resignation immediately," state BJP chief Harshvardhan said.

The BJP leader claimed it was one of the biggest scams in the past 60 years and this could not be possible without the "active participation" of the high-ups in the government, including ministers.

"Dixit has no moral right to continue in power and we will not accept anything other than her resignation," Harshvardhan said and 'apprehended' that the investigation into the scam may be scuttled.

"We will not be surprised if the CBI, which is aggressively pursuing the case today, hushes up the case in the coming days to save those involved in the scam. We demand an impartial probe into the scam as we apprehend suppression of investigation," Harshvardhan said.