AAP removes Sucha Singh Chhotepur as Punjab chief

Chandigarh: The Aam Aadmi Party on Friday sacked its Punjab chief Sucha Singh Chhotepur from his post, who was heading the party in the poll bound state, following the allegations of taking bribe for assigning constituencies to party candidates for the assembly elections which are to be held early next year.

AAP had apparently received a complaint that Sucha Singh Chhotepur had sought Rs 60 lakh from a ticket aspirant and the deal was fixed at Rs 30 lakh.

21 AAP leaders from Punjab, including members of Parliament Bhagwant Mann and Sadhu Singh, had written a letter to the party chief and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal asking him to immediately sack Sucha Singh Chhotepur based on party’s principle of “zero tolerance towards corruption.”

The decision to remove Chhotepur as Punjab chief was taken by AAP’s highest decision making body, the Political Affairs Committee, presided over by Arvind Kejriwal.

AAP sources said the party leaders have sent a video clip of Mr Chhotepur taking money in a purported sting operation, along with their letter to Mr Kejriwal.

Punjab’s big parties such as the Congress and the Akali Dal have mocked their challenger AAP, which is attempting to make inroads in the state in this election.

Mr Chhotepur has been part of both the Akali Dal and the Congress, before he teamed up with Mr Kejriwal, who asked him to build the party in the state. He had fought the 2014 Lok Sabha election as an AAP candidate from Gurdaspur losing to the BJP’s Vinod Khanna.

Chhotepur had denied the allegations, saying he had merely accepted “party fund” from a volunteer. He had also claimed it a conspiracy against him. However, it is against to the party policy to accept donations in cash.On his next course of action, he said that it would be decided by the volunteers.

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