The Nakodar police has booked 10 Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) workers for allegedly bribing Dalit voters in Gill and Mudh villages.
The suspects were apprehended during a raid by Nakodar executive magistrate Amit Gulati on Sunday evening, following which they were handed over to the police.
The AAP workers were allegedly “alluring” voters by promising various facilities to the villagers in writing. The ‘promise letter’, a copy of which is with HT, carries AAP supremo Arvind Kejriwal’s picture along with his undersigned letter on one side, and the detailed promises and registration form for the voter on the other.
As per the promises, a Dalit family will get a ‘pucca’ house, free cooking gas stove, and 400 units of electricity for free. Each promise has space for filling in the applicant’s details and is undersigned by Kejriwal.
Nakodar sub-divisional magistrate-cum-returning officer Kulpreet Singh said he received a complaint in this regard on Sunday, following which he sent a flying squad to the villages, where the suspects were caught red-handed.
Nakodar deputy superintendent of police (DSP) said the suspects have been identified as Subhash Chandar and Gurnek Singh of Hairan village, Prem Kumar of Mohalla Rehmanpura, Jagtar Singh of Mudh village, Pakhar Singh of Jahangir village, Sukhdev Singh, Harpreet Singh, Vipin kumar and Sarabjit of Hairan village and Yunas of Dargabad village.
They were booked under Section 171-E (bribery) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and later released on bail, said Nakodar Sadar station house officer DS Ghuman, adding they were giving promises to voters in violation of the model code of conduct.
‘Case at Akali leaders’ behest’
AAP’s Jalandhar Lok Sabha co-coordinator Sukhdeep Apra accused the local administration of bias. He alleged the case had been registered at the local Akali leadership’s behest.
“How can anybody bribe voters by simply giving written assurances?” questioned Apra, claiming the party was carrying out the drive across Punjab to reach out to voters in villages.