Jaitley worked to improve cricket in Delhi, says DDCA

Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) on Thursday firmly rallied behind Finance Minister and its former president Arun Jaitley, who is being targeted by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) for alleged corruption during his 13-year tenure with the association.

The top officials of DDCA came out in unison to rebut the AAP allegation that Jaitely was involved in gross financial irregularities as DDCA president, which included significant amounts being siphoned through fake companies. The AAP also alleged biases in team selection.

DDCA's working president Chetan Chauhan insisted that Jaitley worked for improving cricket in Delhi, and played a significant role in providing the state of art facility at the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium at competitive rates.

The AAP officials had also claimed that a budget of Rs 24 crore was approved for the cricket stadium but Rs 114 crore was spent on it. Chauhan read out the break-up of expenses incurred to renovate the stadium.

“We are not hiding anything nor will we hide,” Chauhan told reporters.

“Yesterday, I said the cost of building stadium is Rs 114 crore. Initially, the contract given to EPIL (Engineers Projects India Limited) was of Rs 27 crore for one block in ground floor. But when we made three storeys we realised the capacity will increase to 45,000.
The costs then increased to to Rs 57.20 crore for initial construction. Then other additions made it Rs 114 crore. We can provide the break-up.

“In fact, the Hockey Stadium was renovated for Rs 300 crore and Jawaharlal Nehru (football) stadium renovation was done at Rs 1,200 crore. We have been miserly in our expenditure in comparison.”

‘No embezzlement’
Chauhan said no embezzlement took place during the Jaitley’s term, which can be testified by the report of Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO).

“You can check SFIO report. There were only procedural lapses and we have compounded (paid fine) for those lapses. There are no criminal cases during his period as president. Had there been anything SFIO would have taken action,” he said.

“Also in 2012, the government was different and the inquiry was completed during the tenure of the previous government. Mr Jaitley was not in power at that time.”

Chauhan said Jaitely, who quit as DDCA chief in 2013, has not interfered in DDCA’s routine functioning since stepping down, but they always “fall back” for his guidance.

Top Delhi players, including Virender Sehwag and even the current captain Gautam
Gambhir, have expressed their disapproval about the functioning of DDCA but Chauhan said: “If Viru is calling DDCA corrupt, he will soon learn how his new state association (Haryana) is run.”

Chauhan said the DDCA has every legal document regarding the stadium.
“We have proper allotment letters. We are not sitting
on this plot of land illegally as AAP has alleged,” Chauhan added.

DDCA treasurer Ravinder Manchanda said the report that the AAP is showing was, in fact, of DDCA's Fact Finding Committee.

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