New Delhi. Gopal Khari, who had accused Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA Akhilesh Tripathi of giving ticket for the municipal elections after taking money and complained to the ACB, joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday. Senior BJP leader Vijay Goel got him included in the party.
On this occasion, Vijay Goyal said, ‘Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal asked Gopal Khari for 90 lakhs through Akhilesh Tripathi and he gave the money in advance. But the name did not appear in the candidate list. Many people have come forward after Gopal came forward. In other states, you contest elections so that money comes. He further said that the Election Commission should investigate as to how many candidates were given tickets after taking money from them.
ACB officials had confirmed this complaint on 16 November. He had said in a statement, “The complainant (Gopal Khari) said that he gave Rs 35 lakh to Akhileshpati Tripathi and Rs 20 lakh to Wazirpur MLA Rajesh Gupta as bribe.” The ACB had arrested Tripathi’s brother-in-law and two of his associates on November 15 for allegedly demanding a bribe of Rs 90 lakh to arrange a ticket for the wife of an AAP worker in the civic polls.
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Khari claimed that he has been associated with AAP since 2014 as an active worker. The ACB had said that Khari had met Model Town MLA Akhilesh Pati Tripathi on Wednesday last and requested him to get an AAP ticket for the corporator election from Ward No. 69 of Kamla Nagar for his wife.
According to the ACB, Tripathi had allegedly demanded a bribe of Rs 90 lakh in exchange for the ticket, after which Khari paid him Rs 35 lakh. According to the complaint, Khari also gave Rs 20 lakh to AAP MLA Rajesh Gupta at the behest of Tripathi. It claimed that Khari had told Tripathi that he would pay the remaining amount after getting the ticket.
According to the ACB, however, Khari’s name did not appear in the list of candidates released by AAP on November 13. According to the complaint, Tripathi’s brother-in-law Om Singh later contacted Khari and assured him that he would be given a ticket in the next election. According to the complaint, Singh also offered to return the bribe money to Khari.
According to the ACB, on the intervening night of Monday and Tuesday, it laid a trap at Khari’s house and arrested Singh and his associates-Shiv Shankar Pandey and Prince Raghuvanshi, who had come to return Rs 33 lakh taken by Tripathi to Khari. The ACB said that Singh, Pandey and Raghuvanshi were arrested under various provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act and the Indian Penal Code (IPC). According to the ACB, Pandey is the brother-in-law of AAP MLA Akhilesh Pati Tripathi.
According to the ACB, the complainant has also produced audio and video recordings of the alleged conversation that took place during the payment and withdrawal of the bribe amount. The Anti-Corruption Branch said that investigation is being done to ascertain the entire matter and collect evidence.
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FIRST PUBLISHED : November 23, 2022, 15:35 IST