Upheaval in AAP, Kejri in graft soup

Sacked minister Kapil Mishra slaps bribery slur on Delhi CM; Says, Saw Jain giving Rs 2 cr to Kejriwal, Sisodia refutes charge, BJP guns for CM’s resignation
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Agencies
NEW DELHI
7 May 2017

Sacked Delhi minister Kapil Mishra today accused Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal of taking Rs 2 crore from his cabinet colleague, a charge refuted by Deputy CM Manish Sisodia. The allegation by Mishra, who was sacked from the AAP dispensation last night, came amid growing rumblings in the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).  Mishra, whose surprise sacking came days after he sided with senior party leader Kumar Vishwas who has been at loggerheads with the AAP leadership, said he has given a statement to Lt Governor Anil Baijal regarding various irregularities seen by him during his two-year stint as a Cabinet minister in the Kejriwal government. "I saw with my own eyes Satyendar Jain giving Rs 2 crore in cash to Arvind Kejriwal at his residence. When I asked Kejriwal, he said such things happen in politics and it will be revealed later," Mishra told reporters after paying homage to Mahatma Gandhi at his memorial at Rajghat here. He also alleged that Jain, the Health and PWD minister in AAP government, told him "personally" that he had "settled a land deal of Kejriwal's relative". "Jain personally told me that he had settled a land deal worth Rs 50 crore of Kejriwal's relative. When I told Kejriwal, he said that it was a lie and asked me to have faith in him."  Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said the allegations of corruption levelled by Mishra did not merit a response. "His allegations do not merit a response. He has been sacked due to poor performance," Sisodia told reporters. "The allegations are so absurd and there are no facts," he added. However, Mishra claimed that he was removed after he put pressure on the party leaders over matters of "corruption" that have been taking rounds for quite some time. "I want to ask if it was so, why did not Kejriwal and Manish Sisodia say it earlier. If they were fooling people when they were talking about work done by their government in developing water supply in the city," the former Delhi Water minister said. For a long time, talks about different types of "corruption" involving fundings, Punjab elections and Delhi government have been making rounds, he said. "I saw some of it with my own eyes but I believed in Kejriwal and felt no one can corrupt him. The cases of money laundering, black money and appointment of daughter of a minister (Jain), luxury bus scheme, CNG fitness test scam, all these were in his knowledge and I always believed he will take action."  He asserted that he will fight "corruption" while remaining in the AAP and no one can throw him out from the party. "AAP is my party, no one can throw me out of the party. We will sweep corruption away from the party and I have come here (Rajghat) to begin this work," he said. Mishra asserted his honesty saying he was a minister in the Kejriwal government for two years but faced no corruption charges. "I am the only minister in Kejriwal government who has no corruption cases against him and who is facing no CBI or ACB probe and who has not appointed his daughter or relative on any post," he said. Meanwhile, The Delhi unit of BJP today demanded resignation of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who has been accused by AAP MLA and sacked minister Kapil Mishra of taking Rs 2 crore illegal cash, on moral grounds. Manoj Tiwari, the city unit chief of the BJP, said Kejriwal should step down if he has any morality left with him, within hours of Mishra's stunning charges of corruption against Kejriwal and Health Minister Satyendar Jain. Tiwari said he would meet Lt Governor Anil Baijal later in the day and urge for his intervention in the matter. "In case Kejriwal doesn't resign, the Lt Governor should examine the possibility of recommending 'dismissal' of the AAP-led Delhi government to the President," Tiwari said in a press conference. "Kejriwal should resign if has any morality left with him because Kapil Mishra, who was a minister in the government has accused him of corruption. I am going to meet the Lt Governor in this regard," he added. "He was sacked after he raised the matter of Rs 2 crore being given to Kejriwal by Jain. He has also told the Lt Governor about this," the Delhi BJP chief said. Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken today demanded the resignation of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal over the "graft" charges made by sacked AAP minister Kapil Mishra, adding that the party had "lost its anti- corruption plank." Terming Mishra's allegations against Kejriwal as "very serious" in nature, he said the CBI and the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) should take cognisance of the charges. "Kejriwal has no moral right to continue as chief minister in the wake of the allegations by Mishra. He should step down," he said at a press conference here. "CBI should register cases regarding Mishra's allegation that he saw Kejriwal receiving Rs 2 crore from his Health Minister Satyendar Jain, and also with regard to the findings of Shungulu Committee report," Maken said. "The Aam Admi Party (AAP) which was formed on anti-corruption plank has lost it in the wake of Mishra's allegations against the chief minister, and the Shungulu Committee report that has put his government under the dock for various irregularities," he said.(PTI)