Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is moving to drop its Punjab state convener Sucha Singh Chhottepur over charges of alleged corruption.
A decision will be taken at a meeting of the Political Affairs Committee (PAC)—- AAP’s highest decision making body -— on Friday evening, sources confirmed.
Twenty-one senior leaders from Punjab on Thursday wrote a letter to Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, the party’s national convener, seeking investigation into the charges and “exemplary action”.
In the letter, signed by HS Phoolka, Faridkot MP Sadhu Singh and Sangrur MP Bhagwant Mann, among others, the leaders invoked the party’s “zero tolerance policy towards corruption and demanded that action be taken if he is found guilty”, Mann told HT.
Sources in the party said the PAC could replace Chhottepur, who had also criticised the party’s choice of candidates in Punjab recently, with lawyer Himmat Singh Shergill, who had contested the 2014 Lok Sabha elections from Anandpur Sahib. Shergill is also a signatory to the letter.
Chhottepur is shown receiving a packet containing cash from a man in a purported sting video which is now with the party’s leaders.
In an interview to HT on Tuesday, Chhottepur did not deny the authenticity of the video, but said accepting cash did not prove a quid pro quo and that it was for the party’s funds in Punjab.
Chhottepur refused to comment on the letter, but said he would give his side of the story on at a press conference this afternoon in Chandigarh after the PAC meeting.
“There is nothing in the so-called sting operation against me. I will reveal the details I have tomorrow,” he said.
The friction between the AAP’s Punjab in-charge Sanjay Singh, his deputy Durgesh Pathak and Chhottepur has been growing over the past few weeks over selection of candidates in the state.
Shergill enjoys a good equation with both Singh and Pathak.