Ousted People's Party of Punjab (PPP) founder member Arunjot Sodhi, on Tuesday, fired a fresh salvo at party president Manpreet Singh Badal by producing email messages as "evidence" in an attempt to prove that Manpreet and his associates had collected at least $67,000 as party funds during their visit abroad ahead of the state assembly elections.
"We gave $14,000 to party manager Jaijeet Jojo. I personally gave him $8,000 and my friends contributed another $6,000 and gave it to the party manager," stated an email from one Jaspal Dosanjh. The said amount was collected at the PPP's rally at Hershey Centre in Toronto, said Sodhi.
Forwarding copies of the email to the media, Sodhi claimed that many more NRIs would soon turn up to "expose" Manpreet over charges of collecting and pocketing huge party funds.
Manpreet and Jojo strongly refuted the allegations. Jojo has even lodged three FIRs against Sodhi to counter his claims.
"I took no money during the campaign tour. There is not even a single such instance," said Manpreet. He, however, said he would look into the charges against his brother-in-law.
Levelling counter-allegations against Sodhi, Jojo said, "Sodhi had pocketed a cheque for 3,000 Hong Kong dollars by transferring it in his bank account in Malout (in Muktsar district). I lodged three police complaints against Sodhi on Tuesday, one with the cyber crime police, for manipulating and misusing the PPP's Facebook account and stealing literature and records from the PPP office."
Manpreet had last week sought evidence from Sodhi to prove the allegations of embezzlement of party funds against him.
Sodhi said he had so far eight such emails in which NRIs mentioned the amounts they gave towards party funds. He said the total amount stood at $67,000.
Sodhi firm on holding PPP meet
Though expelled from the party by PPP chief Manpreet Singh Badal, Arunjot Sodhi, on Tuesday, reiterated his resolve to convene the party's general house meeting on December 16. Claiming that his dismissal was unconstitutional as per the party's preamble, Sodhi said, "My party colleagues, keeping in view the interest of our party, asked me to call a general house meeting on December 16 to make everything clear." He said most of the senior party members across the state were on his side.