In an expected move, the Aam Aadmi Party has removed its Punjab convener Sucha Singh Chotepur, who has been accused of taking bribe for assigning constituencies to party candidates next year’s assembly elections.
The decision Political Affairs Committee has now been sent to AAP’s disciplinary committee.
This was after senior AAP leaders reportedly met Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal at his residence on Friday.
Sangrur MP Bhagwant Mann told reporters that Chotepur will be given a chance to explain his stand to the party leadership and that his case has been referred to a two-member committee comprising Jasbir Singh and the AAP Punjab joint in-charge Jarnail Singh.
“The allegation is that Chotepur sought Rs 60 lakh from from a ticket aspirant and the deal was fixed at Rs 30 lakh.
The person has already paid him Rs 4 lakh, of which Chotepur returned Rs 3 lakh. He kept the rest of the amount with him,” Mann said.
Meanwhile, Chotepur, in a conference at Chandigarh, said, “I am saddened that the party, instead of defending me has levelled allegations against me.”
On the purported sting operation against him, Chotepur said it was a “conspiracy” hatched by “my own friends within the party.”
21 AAP leaders from Punjab, including MPs Bhagwant Mann and Sadhu Singh, had shot off a letter to Kejriwal asking him to immediately sack Chotepur from the party.
“We are upset and disappointed to see reports in regard to acceptance of bribe by Chhotepur,” they said in the missive.
“Our partys principles of zero tolerance towards corruption must be followed and such a corrupt person (referring to Chotepur) must be immediately removed,” they said while asking Kejriwal to replace Chhotepur with an honest person.
The party has taken a stern view of the charges against Chotepur and has convened a high-level meeting tomorrow in Delhi to decide the fate of the AAP leader.
Chotepur was in the eye of storm after a video clip surfaced allegedly showing him taking money in a purported sting operation, which has been seen by Kejriwal earlier this month.
When contacted, AAP spokesperson and Delhi MLA Jarnail Singh said, “A few state leaders have written to the party leadership. The Political Affairs Committee (of AAP) will take a final call on the matter.”
However, party sources said Chotepur is most likely to be suspended from the party.
Meanwhile, Chotepur, who is unhappy with AAPs ticket distribution, asked the party leadership to make the clip public so that he can get a chance to reply.
Chotepur on Friday had accused his own party of plotting against him.
More to follow