The Congress Tuesday released a sting operation video that purportedly shows an alleged aide of Delhi Food minister Imran Hussain, seeking bribe on the behalf of the minister from a person constructing a house in old Delhi. This comes days before the Arvind Kejriwal government is to complete a year in office. Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken also released two audio tapes.
One of them allegedly contains conversations between Qasim – the complainant – and Furkan Hussain, who Maken identified as the brother of the minister. The second tape contains purported conversations between one Zameer and an MCD junior engineer in the Ballimaran locality. Zameer is said to be a builder constructing Qasim’s house. Qasim, Maken said, is involved in a hardware business.The video shows purported conversations between Hammad, an alleged aide of the minister, and Qasim.
The footage allegedly shows Hammad telling Qasim that he is working with “netaji” and his work includes “visiting sites, taking care of his office and collecting money.” He goes on to say that “Imran bhai is angry” and asks Qasim to “sit and talk to him”.
In the video, Qasim responds by saying “he (Imran) has gone mad” since he was asking for “Rs 30 lakh for a 60-65 square yard of land”. Hammad explains that crores of rupees had been spent on elections. “He has spent rupees five-seven crores in the elections… Imran bhai had spent and has to get that money back… you know how much he had spent to get the ministry? How much running around he had to do to get the seat and how much he spent? How will he recover all that?” he says. Qasim is heard offering between Rs 5 to 7 lakh. At one point, Hammad mentions the name “Irfan” while referring to the minister. “Irfan bhai will not talk, Furkan will talk to you.”… Irfan is sitting in the minister’s chair… he does not talk to anyone on exchange of money (is aude pe hain jab se kisi se len-den ki baat kahin karte paise ki)”.
The complainant was at the All India Congress Committee (AICC) headquarters during Maken’s press conference but refused to take questions. He, however, said he did not hand over any money.
Maken alleged Hammad is referring to the minister and is seeking bribe on his behalf. He said the Congress would hand over the CDs to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and approach the CBI with it.
He sought a CBI inquiry into the charges and demanded Hussain’s resignation for ensuring a fair probe. The audio conversation allegedly between Furkan and Qasim does not have any mention of the minister, the deal or exchange of money.
A man who Maken identified as Furkan merely says “the article (samaan) has not come”. Qasim replies it will be delivered by tonight. The junior engineer is purportedly heard saying “he is telling me that it should not be built… it means if we stop you, you will automatically go (to him).Maken said two ministers of the Aam Aadmi Party government had already resigned on corruption charges. “We are sending the audio and video clips to Chief Minister Kejriwal. He can conduct his own inquiry,” he asked. When pointed out that the minister was not directly seen or heard in the sting operation, he said, “even our ministers in the Union Cabinet had to resign when they were not directly involved.”
Hinting at the case of UPA government minister Pawan Kumar Bansal, he said a minister had to quit on the basis of charges against his nephew and an officer. “BJP and AAP demanded resignation. We took the high moral ground and the minister resigned. How can the rules change now. How can there be different rules now?” he asked.
“For construction of his own house, money was being demanded repeatedly. The junior engineer says the complaint was made by the minister himself. The minister’s brother himself is asking for money. A person working in the minister’s office approaches someone who has been informed that complaints are being made against him by the minister… I don’t think there is any ambiguity,” said Maken.