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Kejriwal defends using public money in defamation case

IANS | New Delhi |

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday defended the Delhi government bearing the legal expenses of the defamation case slapped against him by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, and questioned the BJP's motive behind raising the issue ahead of the recent Delhi assembly by-poll and the capital's civic polls.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has been up in arms against Kejriwal over the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government's decision to pay out Rs.3.4 crore to noted lawyer Ram Jethmalani as fee for fighting the defamation case against the chief minister.

But Kejriwal maintained the matter was governmental and not personal, unlike the BJP claim.

"The rampant corruption in Delhi cricket administration is well known and as the Chief Minister, I ordered an inquiry. I said many influential people were involved in it and took one or two names," Kejriwal told NDTV. 

"The defamation case resulted because of the inquiry which I had ordered as the Chief Minister. So, how can that be my personal matter?"

"If as the chief minister, I am endeavouring to clean up the Delhi cricket administration and have to hire legal experts, then it is the government which will pay for that," he said and questioned the BJP's motive behind raising the issue.

"Jethmalani has been appearing in the case for the last one and a half years, so why are they raising this issue just days before the polls?" said Kejriwal.

Delhi's three municipal corporations go to the poll on April 23, while the BJP won the Delhi assembly by-election from the Rajouri Garden, the result of which was declared on Thursday.