AAP on Saturday suspended Sandeep Kumar who was sacked from the post of Women and Child Development Minister by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal over an “objectionable” CD in which he was shown in a compromising position with a woman.
The suspension of his primary membership of the party comes nearly four days after the decision to remove the 36-year-old minister was taken at a high-level meeting attended by top AAP leaders.
“The party is taking action. What Kumar has done is completely wrong and he has been suspended from primary membership of the party. Disciplinary committee has been handed over the matter and whatever its decision, the party will abide by it,” Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said.
Asked about party leader Ashutosh’s tweets defending Kumar, he said, “These are his personal views but the party is clear. In AAP, any charges on character, corruption and crime wouldn’t be tolerated. If there are such charges against me, same action will be taken as has been taken against Kumar,” he said.
Targeted because I am dalit: Sandeep Kumar
The 36-year-old MLA from northwest Delhi’s Sultanpur Majra said he was targeted for being a Dalit. Kumar had claimed innocence saying, “Like Eklavya was pulled down,when people from our community rise, some plot is hatched to destroy us.” He also claimed that a “plot was hatched” ever since he installed Dr. Ambedkar’s statue and it was happening because “he is poor and dalit.”
“He betrayed the party”
Sources said the decision to sack Kumar was taken before Kejriwal left for the Vatican City yesterday to attend the canonisation of Mother Teresa.
Kejriwal had tweeted, “Received ‘objectionable’ CD of minister Sandeep Kr. AAP stands for propriety in public life. That can’t be compromised. Removing him from Cabinet wid immediate effect.”
In a video message a day after he sacked Kumar, Kejriwal had asserted that he would prefer to die or dissolve the party rather than compromise with AAP’s principles, adding that the same rule will apply to him and all other senior leaders.
Kejriwal said although the turn of events and the fact that “such people” were in the party “saddened” him, he takes “pride” from the fact that AAP did not attempt to “cover up” the transgressions.
“Sandeep Kumar betrayed the party; he betrayed the AAP movement and the trust people across the country have reposed in AAP. We will never ever compromise on our core values. We will prefer to die, close the party or perish than tolerate wrongdoings,” he had said in the video message.