The opposition BJP and the Congress sought to corner the AAP on Wednesday, accusing it of selling tickets for the upcoming civic polls, citing the arrest of a relative of party MLA Akhilesh Pati Tripathi.
The Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) of the Delhi government arrested Tripathi’s brother-in-law and his two associates for allegedly demanding Rs 90 lakh for a party worker’s wife to contest the polls.
Senior AAP leader and Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia has demanded a fair probe into the matter.
“It is a matter of satisfaction and this incident shows that tickets are not sold by the AAP. This is a silver lining and AAP has passed this test. Someone took the money but that person did not get the ticket,” he told reporters when asked to comment on the arrest of Tripathi’s relative.
AAP MLA Durgesh Pathak, the party’s in-charge of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) elections, said it did not sell tickets to contest elections.
The ACB made the arrests on the basis of a complaint by Gopal Khari, who alleged that he paid Rs 35 lakh to Tripathi and Rs 20 lakh to another AAP MLA Rajesh Gupta for his wife to contest the civic polls.
BJP’s IT department in-charge Amit Malviya alleged in a tweet that AAP MLAs sold tickets for the elections.
“Arvind Kejriwal’s MLAs are selling tickets for MCD elections. 3 people have been arrested so far. AAP MLAs are doing what Kejriwal and cohorts do. So no surprise there. But the question is what percentage of money collected is being sent to Kejriwal?” he asked.
BJP’s Delhi unit chief Adesh Gupta, on the other hand, demanded that AAP convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal immediately expel both Tripathi and Gupta.
BJP MP Ramesh Bidhuri alleged that Tripathi was not the only MLA involved in the “sale of tickets” and there were more like him.
“Over 90 per cent of AAP tickets for the MCD polls were sold at Rs 70 lakh to Rs 1 crore each,” he alleged in a press conference.
Delhiites were “ashamed” because of the AAP, whose ministers were in jail and MLAs were charged with selling tickets, said BJP Delhi unit spokesperson Praveen Shankar Kapoor.
Anil Kumar, president of the Congress’ Delhi unit, said the arrest of a relative of an AAP MLA for allegedly taking money from a ticket aspirant “validated” allegations that party leaders sold tickets for MCD elections.
“There was open loot in the ticket distribution for the MCD polls by the AAP which is now an open secret. What could the people of Delhi expect from AAP councillors who paid bribes to get tickets to contest in the elections other than corruption?” Kumar asked.
Sisodia, however, said there was demand for AAP tickets for the elections and asserted that the party would win the polls.
“I want to tell people that if someone tells you that you will get a party ticket from AAP after paying money, please do not trust them,” Sisodia said.
The 250-ward MCD goes to polls on December 4 and counting of votes will take place on December 7.
Read all the Latest News here