The rift within the Aam Aadmi Party — already beleaguered over the sacking of Cabinet minister Sandeep Kumar following a “sex tape” and party leader Ashutosh criticising the move — widened Monday after Punjab unit in-charge Sanjay Singh threatened to slap defamation charges against a party MLA.
Singh Monday said he would file defamation charges against Bijwasan MLA Devinder Sehrawat a day after the latter alleged in a letter to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal that Singh and AAP leader Durgesh Pathak were “exploiting women” for party tickets in Punjab.
Singh called Sehrawat’s allegations “baseless” and claimed he would end his political career if Sehrawat could prove his allegations.
“Because the issue is about my character and because this humiliates the women of Punjab, I have decided to slap a
defamation case on Sehrawat. I will drag him to court and he will have to put forward his facts there,” Singh told reporters at the AAP office on Rouse Avenue.
In a letter to AAP supremo Arvind Kejriwal Sunday, Sehrawat claimed that Singh and Durgesh Pathak — both overseeing the party campaign in Punjab — were exploiting women on promise of giving party tickets.
Sehrawat also complained about Delhi convenor Dilip Pandey for ‘doing the same in Delhi’ and hit out at senior leader Ashutosh for his blog defending sacked minister Sandeep Kumar.
“This is not the first time an allegation is being levelled against me. During the Anna Andolan, a Congress leader had alleged that I held a BPL card. I had then asked the Manmohan Singh government to probe the matter. Then, Congress leader Asif Mohammad Khan had alleged that I offered him lot of money and a ministerial berth. Even then I had said I would end my political career if his allegations could be proved. For four days the media ran the story prominently, held debates and had to finally drop it when nothing could be proven. A few days ago, H S Kingra accused me of taking Rs 5 lakh from Surinder Arora for a rally in Punjab and pocketing it. Arora clarified that no such thing had happened,” said Singh.
He added, “For the fourth time, baseless allegations are being levelled, without any evidence or facts, that women are being exploited in Punjab for allotting party tickets. Sehrawat has contested elections thrice from the AAP. He lost the Assembly elections in 2013, the Lok Sabha polls in 2014 and still he was given a ticket in the 2015 Assembly elections. He should come forward and say what favours he extended to the party to be given a ticket thrice. How can you humiliate the daughters of Punjab, hurt the state’s dignity? People of Punjab do understand the conspiracy… how charges of Quran desecration in Malerkotla were slapped on Delhi MLA Naresh Yadav. Yet again, a Delhi MLA is being used to level allegations against us. It is the doing of the BJP and the Akali Dal.”