The Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) has sent notice to Sheila Dikshit asking her to join the investigation in connection with the alleged Rs. 400-crore water tanker scam even as the former Delhi chief minister dubbed the charges as “politically motivated”, however, hours later Congress declares her as its chief ministerial candidate in UP.
Special Commission of Police and ACB chief M.K. Meena on Thursday said, “Notices have been sent to Sheila Dixit and few Delhi Jal Board officials. They shall be questioned on July 26.”
Asked by reporters what happens if Dikshit fails to turn up before the ACB despite the notice, Meena said, “We can’t predict anything in this regard. We are taking action as per law.”
The notices were sent on Wednesday under the provisions of section 160 of the CrPC.
“As I have said (in the past) this is a politically motivated thing, that’s all,” Dikshit said.
A case was registered by the ACB on 20 June in connection with the alleged scam linking Dikshit. The ACB had received two complaints with regard to the alleged scam and those named in the complaints included Dikshit and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal.
Later in a day, election strategist Prashant Kishor had recommended that Ms. Dikshit should play a major role in the party’s poll campaign in the State as she is a prominent Brahmin face and could help Congress regain support of the electorally sizeable community.
Mr. Ghulam Nabi Azad said that it should not be assumed that Ms Dikshit will stand for election in Uttar Pradesh: “It’s not necessary to content elections to become the Chief Minister,” he said.
The Congress, depleted by electoral losses that began in 2014 with its routing by the BJP, has been dithering over its strategy for Uttar Pradesh, which votes next year. In particular, the scale of the campaigning acceptable to Priyanka Gandhi Vadra remains unknown.
Ms. Dikshit is the daughter-in-law of prominent Congress leader from U.P. Uma Shankar Dikshit, who was a Brahmin face and had served as a Union Minister and Governor for a long time.
Earlier this month, Ms. Dikshit, a three-time Delhi Chief Minister, had said as UP’s “daughter-in-law” she was ready to play any role in the State.
Ms. Dikshit had met party president Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi last month during which she was said to have been sounded by them for a leading role in U.P.
The Brahmin community, a traditional vote bank of Congress, had shifted allegiance to the BJP in the aftermath of the Mandir-Mandal politics and a section in Congress feels it should make efforts to win back the support of the community.
A large chunk of Brahmin votes had also gone to Mayawati’s BSP in the past when she gave tickets to many candidates belonging to the community.