The Aam Aadmi Party has removed its Punjab chief Suchcha Singh Chhotepur, who has been accused of taking bribe for assigning constituencies to party candidates for the assembly elections to be held early next year.
21 AAP leaders from Punjab, including members of Parliament Bhagwant Mann and Sadhu Singh, had written a letter to party chief and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal asking him to immediately sack Mr Chhotepur based on “our party’s principles of zero tolerance towards corruption.”
They cite as proof against the Punjab leader a sting operation in which the 65-year-old Mr Chhotepur is allegedly seen accepting cash from a candidate. AAP sources said the party leaders have enclosed a video clip with their letter to Mr Kejriwal; the alleged sting has not been made public.
Mr Kejriwal had called a meeting of top party leaders in Delhi today to discuss Mr Chhotepur’s fate.
Mr Chotepur has denied the allegations, demanding to be shown the sting. “This is a conspiracy hatched against me by some of my own partymen,” said the former Punjab minister. Addressing a press conference today, he called Mr Kejriwal ‘anti-Sikh’.
Punjab’s big parties the Congress and the Akali Dal have mocked challenger AAP, which is attempting to make inroads in the state in this election.