One of the driving forces that propelled Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party to a historic win in the last assembly elections was his pledge to weed out graft from all levels of administration. A war on graft was a key poll plank for the AAP. Delhi denizens suddenly saw in Kejriwal, a crusader who would send out a stern message to bribe takers and givers. In a sudden move, Delhi’s Environment and Food and Supplies Minister Asim Ahmed Khan was on Friday sacked by Chief Minister Kejriwal over charges of corruption and the case has been referred to CBI. The Chief Minister said the decision to sack Khan was made after examining an audio clip of a purported conversation in which the Food Minister was demanding a bribe from a builder. Kejriwal, announcing the decision to remove Khan at a press conference, said Imran Hussain, <g data-gr-id="29">first</g> time MLA from Ballimaran, will be the new face in his Cabinet. Elaborating on the complaint against Khan, he said the government had received allegations against him last night that he demanded money from a builder to continue construction of a building in his constituency of Matia Mahal. There was a mediator between the MLA and the Minister,” the Chief Minister said. Just give us evidence and we will remove the culprit the moment such charges are brought to our notice,” the Chief Minister said.
Sources said <g data-gr-id="27">Khan,</g> when confronted with the audio clip, had confessed to Kejriwal of his wrongdoing. The Chief Minister said the action had been taken <g data-gr-id="23">suo</g> <g data-gr-id="24">motu</g>. Kejriwal has now upped the ante on the BJP. The AAP leader has dared the BJP to sack Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje Scindia and Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan for their alleged involvement in graft. Predictably the BJP and Congress described the move as a publicity stunt. Opposition BJP and Congress on Friday alleged that corruption in Delhi government increased in the last eight months after the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) came to power. The parties <g data-gr-id="25">flayed</g> the AAP government for just speaking and not delivering the promises made during the Assembly elections and alleged that the performance of Delhi government had shown the way as to what not to do in politics. Taking a jibe at the issue, the BJP leader and Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said, “Kejriwal sometimes fights with Najeeb Jung, sometimes with PM, sometimes with Rajnath Singh and at other times with himself.” Former Delhi CM Sheila Dikshit took a dig at Kejriwal saying that “he never misses an opportunity to get publicity”. Despite brave noises, the BJP will feel the heat after Kejriwal’s political masterstroke.