During a dramatic press conference in New Delhi, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday sacked cabinet minister Asim Ahmed Khan over allegations of corruption.
"There has been a serious complaint against cabinet minister Asim Ahmed Khan," Kejriwal said. "An hour-long audio clip was sent to us by the complainant. We did a preliminary assessment. Prima facie, it seems to be a serious allegation," he said.
Kejriwal also explained that the complainant had accused Khan, Delhi Food and Supplies Minister, of demanding a Rs 6 lakh bribe. He also said that the name of the complainant could not be revealed.
Elaborating on the complaint against Khan, he said the government had received allegations against him on Thursday night that he demanded money from a builder to continue construction of a building in his constituency of Matia Mahal.
"We received a complaint last night that a building was being built in his constituency. It's construction was stopped and money was demanded from the builder, who paid the amount. There was a mediator between the MLA and the Minister," the Chief Minister said.
Sources told PTI that Khan, when confronted with the audio clip, had confessed to Kejriwal of his wrongdoing.
The Delhi Chief Minister also played 2-3 minutes of the audio clip at the press conference.
"We're referring this complaint to the CBI," the Delhi CM said. "Until the CBI probe is finished, Asim Khan has been removed from the cabinet," he said. He clarified that the food portfolio will now go to AAP legislator Imran Hussain.
"Regardless of anything that happened, the people regard the Aam Aadmi Party as an honest party... We cannot compromise with corruption. We didn't come here for power. We came here for a corruption-free India," Kejriwal said.
"We are taking this decision ourselves. The media or the public did not tell us about this instance of corruption," he added.
"Today's action will send a message to everyone that no one will be spared if they indulge in corruption," Kejriwal said. He also said that corruption charges would not be tolerated by the Delhi government, whether it was against an MLA, minister, Deputy CM Manish Sisodia or Kejriwal himself.
"Even if my son engages in corruption, we won't tolerate that," he said. Kejriwal also said that BJP should sack Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Vasundhara Raje after the AAP government had decided to take action against its own minister.
Read a report from The Indian Express here.
(With PTI inputs)
Updated Date: Oct 10, 2015 04:04:57 IST