DAYS AFTER the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) removed Sucha Singh Chhotepur as its Punjab convener following a sting that showed him accepting money, his supporters have hit back with an audio tape and photographs purportedly suggesting that other AAP bosses also accepted money.
Former coordinator of the party’s finance committee Hardip Singh Kingra alleged that an “agent” of Durgesh Pathak, who heads the party’s national organisation-building, had demanded Rs 5 lakh from a volunteer for fixing a meeting with him.
Kingra, a close associate of Chhotepur, played the audio to the media Thursday. In the audio, Amrish Trikha, a close aide of Pathak, purportedly tells Paramjit Singh Dhillon, a volunteer from Samrala, that he would have to pay Rs 5 lakh for a meeting with Pathak.
Dhillon — the nephew of Congress leader and liquor baron Amrik Singh Dhillon — told The Indian Express that he had recorded the audio but did not remember the date. He said he had not paid any money. Kingra, too, was unable to provide the date on which this conversation took place.
The AAP, in a statement issued here on Thursday, said it would get the audio clip investigated and if any wrongdoing is found, suitable action would be taken against those responsible. The party said it would also ask Amrish Trikha to clear his stand on the audio tape.
Trikha could not be reached for comment. Kingra said the meeting took place “a long time ago”.
Kingra also produced a picture of AAP leader Ashutosh holding a bag of money with Iqbal Singh Bhadowalia, Tarn Taran AAP zonal coordinator. He alleged the bag contained Rs 16 lakh and had been given by volunteers. In its statement, AAP called the allegations “bogus”.