New Delhi, Aug 31 (IANS) Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday removed his Social Welfare Minister Sandeep Kumar, saying he had received an “objectionable” CD on him and there cannot be any compromise with propriety in public life.
“Received ‘objectionable’ CD of minister Sandeep Kumar. AAP stands for propriety in public life that can’t be compromised. Removing him from Cabinet with immediate effect,” Kejriwal tweeted.
Soon after the action against the legislator over the alleged sex tape, Delhi’s Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government has “zero tolerance” towards any such act and action was taken within half-an-hour of receiving the CD.
The BJP and Congress mounted an attack on the Kejriwal government over the purported “sex CD” involving Kumar. The BJP said it will stage a protest outside Kejriwal’s residence on Thursday over the issue.
Sisodia told reporters that AAP was a party of principles. “We have zero tolerance against any kind of corruption, crime or any such activity,” he said.
“The CM received an objectionable CD of Sandeep Kumar and within half an hour, the decision to remove the minister was taken and Kumar was sacked,” Sisodia said.
Kumar is the third minister who has been removed or forced out of the cabinet by Kejriwal since the formation of the government in February 2015.
Jitender Tomar was asked to resign as Law Minister in June 2015 after he was accused of forging his college degree. In October last year, Asim Ahmed Khan was removed as Minister for Food and Environment following allegations of taking bribe from a builder.
There are six ministers in Delhi cabinet who hold multiple portfolios. Kumar, 36, MLA from Sultanpur Majra, also held the Women and Child Development portfolio.
Sisodia said his party and the government always took swift decisions whenever cases against its ministers or leaders surfaced.
“Earlier we had removed one of our ministers on corruption charges. Recently we removed party’s Punjab convenor over charges that he took money. And today we have removed Kumar after we got the objectionable CD,” Sisodia said.
He warned all his party MLAs and leaders saying, “If any of the 67 MLAs or the party leaders be it Arvind Kejriwal, Manish Sisodia or anyone else is caught in activities which are against the party principles, he will not be spared,” Sisodia said.
Former AAP leader and eminent lawyer Prashant Bhushan took potshots at Kejriwal over Kumar’s removal. “Wah AK (Arvind Kejriwal) Saheb, you appoint degree forgers, bribe takers as ministers and then take credit for removing them when caught,” he tweeted.
Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken asked why the AAP leadership had not expelled the MLAs who had been removed as ministers.
“3 of 6 Ministers in AAP Govt caught for: 1.FakeDegree 2.Corruption 3MoralTurpitude. But who chose them? Why aren’t they expelled from Party?,” he tweeted.
BJP leader Vijender Gupta said: “When they (AAP) got elected, they said we had 67 gems. Now they stand exposed.”
Another BJP leader Sudhanshu Mittal said that there were allegations involving Kumar and “if Kejriwal did not know about them earlier, he should resign.”
Delhi Commission for Women chief Swati Maliwal said that “acts” of Sandeep Kumar were “shocking” and “unfortunate.”
“Such people don’t deserve to be minister, let alone WCD minister! Good govt has sacked him,” she tweeted.