Mishra said he would meet anti-corruption bureau officials Monday morning. In photo: Arvind Kejriwal. Photograph:( AFP )
Sacked Delhi water minister Kapil Mishra Sunday accused chief minister Arvind Kejriwal of corruption and claimed that he took a bribe of Rs 2 crore from health minister Satyendra Jain.
The sacked cabinet minister said later in the evening that he would meet the Anti-Corruption Bureau officials tomorrow morning and hand over the names of two persons for their alleged involvement in the tanker scam.
I am going to give two person's names to ACB in connection with tanker scam, Ashish Talwar and Vibhav Patel: Kapil Mishra pic.twitter.com/EF4FYrSplK— ANI (@ANI_news) May 7, 2017
The AAP denied the charges, with deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia saying the "absurd" allegations did not merit a response. Several party leaders, including Kumar Vishwas, Alka Lamba, Adarsh Shastri, Somnath Bharti, and Rajesh Rishi, who had called for the need to introspect in the wake of recent election defeats, rallied behind Kejriwal.
"His allegations do not merit a response. He has been sacked due to poor performance," Manish Sisodia told reporters. "The allegations are so absurd and there are no facts," he added.
Kumar Vishwas said he has known Arvind Kejriwal for 12 years and even his enemies cannot imagine him taking a bribe.
"We can disagree, fight or be disappointed with each other ... I know Arvind for 12 years and I can say that I cannot imagine him taking a bribe or being corrupt ... Even his enemies cannot imagine this," he told reporters.
"Kejriwal has said this 100 times that he should be removed if he is corrupt. I have called Satyendra Jain and asked him to explain his position in the PAC (Political Affairs Committee) ... Whether he is being framed or has there been a mistake, we are ready for an investigation ... Be it an ED (Enforcement Directorate) or a CBI probe," Vishwas said.
Kapil Mishra had said that he saw health minister Satyendra Jain pay Rs 2 crore to Arvind Kejriwal.
On being asked, the chief minister evaded answering where the money came from and said few things in politics cannot be explained, the sacked MLA alleged.
"I kept quiet all this while due to complete faith on Arvind Kejriwal. The day before yesterday, I saw Jain giving Rs 2 crore in cash to Kejriwal. Kejriwal said few things happen in politics. After having seen Jain hand over such a big amount to him, I had to come out. I have handed over the details to Lt Governor Anil Baijal," Mishra said.
Kapil Mishra further alleged that Satyendra Jain told him that he "settled land deals worth Rs 50 crore for Kejriwal's relative". The AAP MLA said he was sacked after he confronted Kejriwal over the issue and after he put pressure on the party leaders over matters of "corruption" have been doing the rounds for quite some time.
"Jain personally told me that he had settled a land deal worth Rs 50 crore of Kejriwal's relative. When I told Kejriwal, he said that it was a lie and asked me to have faith in him."
"I saw some of it with my own eyes but I believed in Kejriwal and felt no one can corrupt him. The cases of money laundering, black money, and appointment of the daughter of a minister (Jain), luxury bus scheme, CNG fitness test scam, all these were in his knowledge and I always believed he will take action."
His surprise sacking came days after he sided with senior party leader Kumar Vishwas who has been at loggerheads with the party leadership.
Mishra said he may have been axed for saying he would submit the names of those people involved in the tanker scam to the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB)."It has nothing to do with the MCD polls, and till now, I have not received any official confirmation so far. But I met Arvind Kejriwal this morning, and I said that it has been a year since the report on the tanker scam was tabled and no action has been taken," Mishra told ANI."I had told him that I will submit the names of the responsible persons to the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB)," Mishra added.He said he would expose the names involved in the tanker scam on Sunday.
However, sources close to Kejriwal claim that Mishra did not meet the Chief Minister and neither had he submitted any papers related to the tanker scam.
He also added that he told Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal about all corruption cases, asserting that he will fight "corruption" while remaining in the AAP. He added he was the only minister in the Kejriwal government who has no corruption charges against him.
"AAP is my party, no one can throw me out of the party. We will sweep corruption away from the party and I have come here (Rajghat) to begin this work," he said.
"I am the only minister in Kejriwal government who has no corruption cases against him and who is facing no CBI or ACB probe and who has not appointed his daughter or relative on any post," he said.
BJP, Congress clamour for Kejriwal's resignation
The Delhi unit of BJP asked Kejriwal to resign on moral grounds. The party's state unit chief Manoj Tiwari said Kejriwal should step down if he has any morality left with him.
"In case Kejriwal doesn't resign, the Lt Governor should examine the possibility of recommending 'dismissal' of the AAP-led Delhi government to the President," Manoj Tiwari said at a press conference.
The Congress also asked Kejriwal to resign and called for a proper transparent investigation into the charges against the Delhi chief minister. Terming Mishra's allegations against Kejriwal as "very serious" in nature, Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken said the CBI and the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) should take cognisance of the charges.
"Kejriwal has no moral right to continue as chief minister in the wake of the allegations by Mishra. He should step down," Ajay Maken said at a press conference.
Social activist Anna Hazare said he was pained at seeing his former colleague in the anti-corruption campaign facing allegations of corruption.
"It is painful for me to see what is going on in the Delhi government. It is disheartening to see my former colleague in anti-corruption fight Kejriwal facing the charge of accepting money," Hazare told reporters at his village Ralegan Siddhi in Maharashtra's Ahmednagar district.
Puducherry Lt Governor Kiran Bedi, who was a part of Anna Hazare's India Against Corruption movement alongside Kejriwal , also sought an independent probe.
Without naming anyone, Kiran Bedi tweeted that the "allegation of corruption made by a Minister claiming to be an eyewitness against his own Chief Minister needs an independent investigation forthwith".
(WION with inputs from PTI)