Two days after he publicly sacked a minister, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday warned all AAP legislators that no one indulging in corrupt practices would be spared.
Kejriwal had called a meeting of all the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) legislators to underline the need for value-based politics.
“We say that we have honest people in our cabinet but it pains whenever anyone is caught indulged in corrupt practices. We will not spare any MLA or party member if caught involved in corruption,” he said in the meeting which came after Food Minister Asim Ahmed Khan was sacked for allegedly demanding Rs.6 lakh in bribe from a builder.
Khan is the second minister in the AAP government to exit in disgrace. Then law minister Jitender Singh Tomar was forced to resign in June after police arrested him on charges of faking his educational degree.
During the meeting, Kejriwal made an emotional appeal to all legislators to opt for honest and value-based politics and think about their families before doing anything against the law.
“Please do think about your family before committing any misdeed. It will be a social embarrassment for one’s entire family if he is caught over the corruption charges,” he said, adding the entire system – the central government and police – was against the AAP government so the legislators should be ready to go to jail.
AAP legislators were accompanied with their families at the meeting.
Addressing the gathering, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said: “It was a tough decision to sack Asim over corruption charges but the party will not shy away from repeating it.”
After the meeting, a legislator said: “MLAs shared their experiences. It was a get-together just like a family.”
Controversial leaders including Somnath Bharti, who was recently released on bail in a domestic violence case filed by his wife and Tomar also attended the meeting. Khan and Timarpur legislator Pankaj Pushkar were not invited.
Reacting at being left out, Pushkar told reporters: “This questions whether the real fight is against corruption or against some individuals.”
Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken meanwhile hit out Kejriwal over Tomar’s presence.
“Kejriwal Ji (sic) with MLA family members on corruption & On High Table with Kejriwal is #FakeDegree Ex-Law Minister Tomar!” he tweeted.
The AAP has 67 legislators in the 70-member Delhi assembly.