Hours after the arrest of three Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) workers in a matter of bribe for a party ticket for the Delhi civic elections, the party on Wednesday said it does not sell tickets to anyone and demanded an inquiry into the matter.
On Tuesday night, the Delhi Anti Corruption Branch (ACB) arrested three AAP workers including AAP legislator Akhilesh Pati Tripathi’s brother-in-law Om Singh and two other workers – Shiv Shankar Pandey and Prince Raghuvanshi.
Reacting to the arrests, deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia said the party never sells tickets in elections.
“Money was taken and returned, which means the ticket was not sold. I demand a proper inquiry into the matter. Those who are found guilty should be punished,” he said.
Sisodia further said: “If a person promises you an AAP ticket by taking money, never trust them. No one can get a ticket in exchange for money.”
After making the arrests, in a statement, ACB said that a sum of ₹55 lakhs was given to Model Town MLA Tripathi and Wazipur MLA Rajesh Gupta by complainant Gopal Khari for a party ticket to his wife but they could not keep their promise.
On being asked about the involvement of two MLAs in the bribe case, Sisodia said ACB’s investigation will reveal the truth and that AAP did not get any recommendation for the candidature of Gopal Khari’s wife.
According to the ACB, the accused were caught when they came to return the bribe amount taken by Tripathi for providing the ticket to Khari’s wife Shobha Khari from ward number 78 in Kamla Nagar in the civic elections.
While ₹55 lakhs were already given to Tripathi, ₹35 lakhs were to be given once the job was done, said ACB officials.
However, Khari approached the ACB on November 14 when his wife did not get an AAP ticket from the ward, stating that he met Tripathi for a ticket on November 9.
In his complaint, he called himself a worker of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). He initially gave ₹35 lakhs to Tripathi and ₹20 lakhs to legislator Rajesh Gupta on being asked by the Model Town MLA.
On November 12, the complainant did not find the name of his wife in the list of candidates released by the AAP. Thereafter, Om Singh contacted Khari and assured him that his wife would get a ticket in the next elections and also offered to return the bribe money, the complaint reads.
Khari also submitted audio and video evidence to the ACB along with his complaint.