Former AAP member Hardip Singh Kingra has accused a close associate of party leader Durgesh Pathak of taking bribe for arranging a meeting with Pathak.
Presenting a purported audio recording to substantiate his allegations, Kingra said, it could be “clearly heard” that a close associate of Pathak, identified as Amrish Tirkha of Ludhiana, is asking for Rs 5 lakh for arranging a meeting with Pathak.
Kingra, former member of the Finance Committee of the AAP, claimed that before the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, 27 bank accounts of the party – 13 of Lok Sabha Candidates and 13 of the party in each parliamentary constituency, and one at state level was opened in a bank.
After the elections, barring four bank accounts including that of Bhagwant Mann (Sangrur), H S Phoolka (Ludhiana), Bathinda and Ferozepur, all other accounts were made inoperative.
Kingra dared AAP’s legal cell head Himmat Singh Shergil to clarify which bank account of AAP was operative at state level.
Contrary to the AAP leaders’ claim the party does not accept cash donation of more than Rs 20,000, Kingra alleged that in March, AAP leader Ashutosh was handed over a ‘Thailly’ containing Rs 16 lakh cash at Tarn Taran by party volunteers.
Kingra is close confidant of former convener Sucha Singh Chhotepur.
Meanwhile, AAP dismissed the allegations levelled by Kingra saying “he is leveling bogus allegations against the party on the direction of rival parties”.
In a press statement, Sangrur MP Bhagwant Mann said Kingra joined AAP to get assembly ticket and he is now speaking against the party because he could not get one.
Mann said the mission of AAP is to root out corruption from Punjab and people of state have absolute faith in its policies.
People of the state will never trust such ‘Black Sheep’ trying to derail the process of “revolution”, he said.
Mann said the party will look into the allegations raised by Kingra as AAP stands by its commitment of ‘Zero Tolerance’ against corruption.
The party will investigate the alleged audio tape released by Kingra and in case anything wrong is found, suitable action will be taken against the people responsible, he said.
The party will also ask Amrish Trikha to clear his stand on the alleged audio tape.
Member of fund-raising committee Surinder Singh Arora said the allegations made by Kingra are baseless and false.
He said that a case of defamation will be filed against Kingra in this regard.
Arora said he has all the details of funds raised for the party.