Activist and senior lawyer Prashant Bhushan attacked Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday, a day after he sacked food minister Asim Ahmed Khan on the grounds of corruption, questioning why a “defector” was given a ticket in the assembly election at all.
Aam Aadmi Party chief Kejriwal announced the decision to sack Khan, accused of demanding a bribe from a builder, at a press conference on Friday. He said an audio tape backed a complaint that the minister demanded Rs 6 lakh from the builder for allowing illegal construction in his Matia Mahal constituency in Old Delhi.
“It is astounding that the credit is being given to Kejriwal for removing a corrupt minister who was appointed without any due diligence, despite being known as a defector. This is precisely the question that we were raising, over ticket distribution to political defectors and opportunists,” Bhushan told ANI on Saturday.
“Kejriwal has removed his second minister from cabinet on grounds of corruption. These were people, who came from the Congress Party. Asim Khan joined the AAP before the 2015 elections, he had not joined the party in 2012 when the party was formed, not joined before the 2013 elections also,” he added.
Bhushan said Kejriwal gave a ticket to such an opportunistic defaulter and then appointed him a cabinet minister without any due diligence.
“Same thing had happened with Jitendra Tomar, when the high court had issued notice on his fake degrees, but despite any due diligence, without checking that his degrees were fake or not, he was made the cabinet minister,” he added.
Khan was accused of creating “a nexus with the builder”, Kejriwal said, while playing a one-hour audio recording of what he said was part of a conversation between the food minister and the builder. The Delhi chief minister also said recommended a CBI probe into the case.
AAP’s founding members Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav were expelled from the party in April for anti-party activities and violating the code of ethics, after a complete fall-out with Kejriwal in March, when they had publicly questioned the “dictatorial” ways of the Delhi chief minister.
Bhushan and Yadav, along with other dissidents then found a nationwide political movement, the Swaraj Abhiyan.
With ANI inputs