NEW DELHI: The Aam Aadmi Party government in Delhi took everyone by surprise on Friday by dramatically announcing the sacking of its environment and food minister, Asim Ahmed Khan, after a whistleblower accused him of corruption.
Khan, MLA from Matia Mahal, was alleged to have accepted a Rs 6 lakh bribe from a builder for an unauthorized construction in his constituency. The government has referred the case to CBI for investigation and appointed Ballimaran MLA Imraan Hussain in his place.
The complaint against Khan was reportedly received on Thursday and a decision was taken within 24 hours. The media didn’t get any inkling of the controversy till the press conference. The opposition too was caught unawares as the chief minister took the high moral ground and dared BJP to sack its chief ministers who were facing allegations.
“There is a serious complaint of corruption against cabinet minister Asim Khan. The complainant has sent an hour-long audio clip which I have heard. Prima facie, the complaint seems genuine. We cannot reveal the name of the complainant because he fears for his life. The complaint is that a building was coming up in his constituency. The builder was asked for Rs 6 lakh which he paid. We want to send out a message that we will not tolerate corruption. Therefore, we have decided to remove him as minister and will refer the complaint to CBI,” said Kejriwal.
Khan, who was at the Secretariat on Friday, said he had been asked to submit his resignation at 3.30pm which he had done. “There is a conspiracy against me. I will reveal the truth very soon, maybe as early as Saturday evening. I have not heard the recording and am in a state of shock. The party said that till the inquiry is on, I should not be in office,” said Khan.
Sources said a complaint had been received by a grievance cell set up by the party at the district level. The Delhi team then met the complainant and after a preliminary inquiry, asked for the recording. The complainant, however, asked for a meeting with the CM.