It seems Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party is facing a series of problems in the run-up to the MCD elections.
On Tuesday, Tihar Jail official sources revealed that the man giving a massage to Delhi minister Satyendar Jain is not a physiotherapist, but a prisoner Rinku, facing charges of rape of an adolescent girl under POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) Act. He has been in Tihar jail since the last year. Satyendar Jain is facing money laundering charges levelled by Enforcement Directorate. The revelation triggered a war of words between BJP and AAP, with BJP demanding that Jain be removed from the Delhi cabinet. AAP leaders described this as a ‘witchhunt’.
On Monday, AAP faced a fresh ‘sting’. Bindu Shriram, a former AAP worker, shot two videos in which an AAP leader was shown demanding Rs 80 lakh for giving a party ticket in Rohini for MCD elections. The first sting was done inside a restaurant where she spoke to AAP coordinator in-charge Puneet Goel, said to be close to Delhi minister Gopal Rai. The second sting was done inside a vehicle, in which she was shown speaking to R R Pathania, North-West Delhi AAP in-charge. Pathania is also incharge of the AAP SC/ST wing and a member of the AAP national executive.
According to Bindu Shriram, it was Puneet Goel who was trying to ‘strike a deal’ on the party ticket. In the purported sting video, Bindu is shown taking confirmation from Goel that Pathania has knowledge about the deal. In the second sting video, Bindu is shown speaking to Pathania and the latter admitted that Puneet Goel was his close aide. In the sting, the names of AAP minister Gopal Rai, Saurabh Bhardwaj, Durgesh Pathak, Adil Khan and Atishi Marlena were taken.
BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra took a jibe, saying BJP may have to set up a helpline to ask people to send sting videos because Aam Aadmi Party is “now neck deep in corruption”. Bindu Shriram said Rs 80 lakh was demanded from her for an AAP ticket in the MCD elections. “This is not the work of a single individual, a full-fledged gang of thugs is working.”
The allegation is indeed serious, but AAP is taking these lightly. AAP MLA Dileep Pandey said, since his party’s tickets are now much in demand, several brokers have become active. “BJP has no issue to raise in MCD poll, that is why it is taking recourse to sting videos”, he said.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, campaigning in Gujarat, said, “the sting videos are fake. They come out every day with fake stories but are not replying about the work BJP did during its rule in MCD”.
One thing is however clear. Some leaders of AAP are demanding money for giving party tickets in MCD polls. Earlier too, there was a similar video sting about cash-for-ticket. Since these stings have been carried out by present and former AAP workers, there is little doubt about their veracity. Kejriwal, without going through the details shown in the videos, is claiming that they are all fake. Somebody should ask him, how did he come to know that the videos are fake? Was he dreaming?
Kejriwal should be the last person to raise questions about sting videos. It was he who told the people of Delhi to carry out stings if any officer demanded bribes. Kejriwal has been claiming that his government has built schools and mohalla clinics. But he did not say whether the persons who will collect Rs 80 lakhs will build schools or mohalla clinics or earn more money. It is a known fact that AAP is spending money lavishly in Delhi and Gujarat elections. If the Delhi liquor scam had not happened, Kejriwal should explain from where his party got huge funds for elections.
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