Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: It’s going to be a tough political journey for Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal, whose party is also being probed by the government for the source of foreign funding.
Hitting at Aam Aadmi Party`s probity plank, a controversial sting operation has alleged that several party leaders, who were contacted for their help in recovery of money from individuals and getting land deals done, readily agreed to extend their support in return of donations in cash to AAP.
AAP leader Shazia Ilmi today offered to withdraw her candidature from Delhi Assembly Elections after the sting operation came to the light.
"It is an extremely important fight for AAP. But because of the underhand shoddy sting operation, I will not allow my party`s image to be sullied. I offer to withdraw my candidature and not contest elections until and unless my name is cleared", Ilmi said.
Dismissing the sting operation as a conspiracy against his party, AAP convener Arvind Kejriwal said he knew who were behind it as BJP and Congress have been routed by AAP.
In a bid to pacify the whole situation, Kejriwal said on a microblogging website Twitter: “Some sting ops done on our candidates. Our team, including Sanj Singh n Yog Yadav, looking into it. We will not spare if anyone is guilty (sic).”
He further vowed not to compromise on the issue of corruption.
We will walk the talk. There wud be absolutely no compromise against corruption.
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) November 21, 2013
The sting operation on six candidates of the party, including AAP`s candidate Shazia Ilmi and leader Kumar Vishwas, also accuses the party of selling Badarpur constituency seat for Rs 2 crore.
In the video, Ilmi, the AAP candidate from south Delhi`s RK Puram, is allegedly seen demanding Rs 25 lakh for participating in an agitation. The video purportedly showed a reporter meeting Ilmi posing as a representative of a company and sought her help to teach a lesson to a rival company.
Initially, Ilmi refused to help the reporter without legal documents, but later allegedly agreed to help her even without documents when the reporter offered her donations in cash.
She is also heard saying that political party also accepts donation in cash.
The sting operations were also done on AAP candidates from Kondli (Manoj Kumar), Sangam Vihar (Dinesh Mohaniya), Okhla (Irfan Ullah Khan), Rohtas Nagar (Mukesh Hooda), Deoli (Prakash) and Palam (Bhawna Gaur).
Meanwhile, Bharatiya Janata Party vice president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, on Twitter, took potshots at AAP.
Exposure of aap party .......a varice is the root of all evils.......
— Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi (@naqvimukhtar) November 21, 2013
Reacting to the sting operation, BJP leader VK Malhotra said the sting operation has "exposed AAP totally".
"Earlier also Anna Hazare condemned them for taking all this money which was collected at Hazare`s agitation for election purpose.
"Elections are in Delhi, but money is coming from USA, UK and other places. If they take money from outside and contest election in Delhi, then tomorrow they can sell India`s interest also by taking foreign money," said Malhotra.
The video comes as a setback for AAP which is already embroiled in a controversy over allegations of illegal foreign funding and a tussle with Anna Hazare over funds collected during the India Against Corruption (IAC) movement.
Kejriwal and Hazare had together, under the IAC banner, held agitations against corruption in Delhi two years ago.
The debutant AAP has become the third major force in the Delhi Assembly Elections, which normally saw only straight contests between the Congress and the BJP.