Sisodia defends Khan, AAP rejects his resignation
Khan had on Saturday resigned as the Delhi Waqf Board chairman and from the Hajj Committee, after sexual harassment charges were levelled against him.
Announcing the party’s decision, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia lashed out at the media for allegedly defaming AAP workers and charged him with protecting Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) national president Amit Shah. Sisodia alleged that Modi and Shah were involved in a ‘Monika Lewinsky’-like case in Gujarat but the Indian media never dared to bring it out to the public.
“We checked facts in the Amantullah Khan case like in other cases. It is his family’s internal matter. The dispute is within his brother-in-law’s family. It is being said Khan’s brother-in-law and the latter’s wife had divorced. Amantullah is not even communicating with them,” said Sisodia at AAP’s office.
Sisodia was flanked by AAP’s Delhi convener Dilip Pandey and Water Minister Kapil Mishra. He emphasised that Khan’s “family’s internal dispute” is being given a “political colour”.
Sisodia further alleged that Khan was being targeted as he had been unearthing land scams in the Waqf Board, involving “influential” people. He also targeted the Delhi Police, dubbing it as “Modiji’s police”, saying the police had “a scanner installed in their mind” and have been “picking up” AAP men at the instance of an allegation, without “verifying the truth”.
“A family’s internal matter is being given political colour. He is being dragged into the matter because he has been unearthing Waqf land scams with honesty. Those, who understand about Waqf issues, are aware how influential people have grabbed Waqf lands. Amantullah is stopping these scams, and hence, he is being targeted,” Sisodia said.
The Deputy CM added: “He had resigned in pain. His family issue was being dragged. He sent out a very emotional letter to us. But our probe has not found anything. I spoke to the Chief Minister (Arvind Kejriwal) and also other leaders and we have decided to not accept his resignation.”
Quoting a ‘senior bureaucrat’ of Gujarat, who has reportedly submitted some facts in the Supreme Court, Sisodia alleged that a woman was snooped in the state when Modi was the Chief Minister and Shah was the Home Minister.
Sisodia, however, termed the allegations against Khan as ‘frivolous’, but called the allegations against BJP leaders as “clinching evidences”. He also questioned the media for allegedly overlooking the matter.
The Deputy Chief Minister said that no other party took action against its members/ leaders as swift as AAP, if it found them at fault. Sisodia asserted that the party would stand by its workers/ leaders if they were not involved in any wrong-doing.
Claiming that he was being “framed in false cases”, Khan had also reportedly offered to resign as an MLA and the party’s Political Affairs Committee (PAC).
A case of sexual harassment has been registered against Khan in southeast Delhi’s Jamia Nagar Police station on a complaint filed by his sister-in-law. The complainant has accused her husband of demanding dowry and building pressure on her to get intimate with the AAP legislator.
To a question, Sisodia said that the AAP was “committed” to keep the party clean, unlike other political outfits and claimed that his party was being welcomed in other parts of the country like Goa and Punjab. “We knew before coming into politics that these (political opponents) people will conspire (against us), that they will rattle after we will set their Lanka on fire. They will defame and attack us,” he said.
Sisoduia added: “Let Modiji’s police and media do their jobs, we will do our own. Modi ji maybe a boss for someone, our boss...it is the public for whom we will keep working.”