Triggers slugfest between BJP, AAP
Jailed conman Sukesh Chandrashekhar has written to the Delhi Lt Governor alleging that AAP leader Satyendar Jain ‘extorted’ Rs 10 crore from him in 2019 to ensure his safety in prison, triggering a political slugfest between the AAP and the BJP.
While the BJP called the AAP a “maha thug” party, saying “the conman has been conned”, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal rubbished the allegations saying it was an attempt to divert attention from the Morbi bridge collapse incident in Gujarat.
Chandrashekhar, who is lodged in Mandoli jail here in connection with Rs 200 crore money laundering case, submitted a letter to LG V K Saxena on October 8 through his advocate Ashok K Singh, making the startling allegations against the AAP.
According to the LG office sources, the letter from Chandrashekhar was received by the LG office and was forwarded to the Chief Secretary of the Delhi government for necessary action on October 18.
The letter alleged that more than Rs 50 crore was given to the AAP on a promise of giving Chandrashekhar an important post in the party in South Zone, and also help him in getting nominated to the Rajya Sabha.
Chandrashekhar also alleged that he was visited by Jain in Tihar jail, where he was lodged after his arrest in 2017 in the ‘two leaf symbol corruption case’.
Jain, who held the portfolio of the Jail ministry, asked him if he had disclosed anything to the probe agency related to his contribution to the AAP, he alleged. Tihar Jail is run by the Department of Delhi Prisons, Government of Delhi. “Thereafter in 2019 again I was visited by Satyendar Jain and his secretary and his close friend Sushil in jail, asking me to pay Rs two crore every month to him as protection money to live safely in jail, and to get even basic facilities,” he alleged.
“Jain asked me to pay Rs 1.50 crore to DG prison Sandeep Goel, who, he said, was a loyal associate of his. He forced me to pay and an amount of Rs 10 crore was extorted from me through constant pressure in a matter of two-three months,” he alleged in the letter.
He also alleged that the amounts were collected in Kolkata through Jain’s associates.
“Hence a total amount of Rs 10 crore was paid to Satyendar Jain, and Rs 12.50 crore to DG prison Sandeep Goel,”Chandrashekhar alleged and added that he has already given this information to the Enforcement Directorate.
There was no immediate reaction available from Goel to the allegations. Chandrashekhar was shifted to Mandoli after he requested the Supreme Court for the same, saying that his life was under threat. His shift was ordered by the court in August.
Chandrasekhar further said that he also filed a petition before the Delhi High Court seeking a CBI inquiry, and the court has issued a notice and the matter is scheduled for hearing next month.
“As Jain is lodged in Tihar, he has been threatening me through DG Prison and the jail administration, asking me to withdraw the complaint filed in the high court, and I have been severely harassed and threatened,”he alleged, urging the LG to direct the probe agencies to investigate the matter.
“The truth has to be out as I am not able to keep it inside me anymore. I am being harassed. The AAP and their so-called honest government have to be exposed and shown that even in jail they are involved in high-level corruption. I hereby undertake to tender full cooperation with complete honesty before any forum,” the letter said.
Attacking the AAP over the allegations, BJP national spokesperson Sambit Patra claimed that it was a “maha thug” party.
“Thug ke ghar thugi karli (A conman has been conned). And the name of the thug is Sukesh Chandrashekhar. And the person who cheated the thug is Aam Aadmi Party leader Satyendra Jain,” Patra said.
Rubbishing the allegations, Arvind Kejriwal said,”before Punjab polls, they came out with Kumar Vishwas. Now, the BJP, due to its poor condition in Gujarat, has produced Sukesh. It is also an attempt to divert attention from the Morbi incident”.
Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia also dismissed Chandrashekhar’s allegations as the BJP’s “tactics to divert the attention” of people from the Gujarat bridge collapse in which at least 134 have died.
“Since the BJP is facing embarrassment due to misdeeds and corruption of its government in Gujarat, they have brought in a gangster to write letters to divert public attention,” Sisodia said at a press conference when asked for his comment. Chandrashekhar was arrested after the Economic Offences Wing of the Delhi Police lodged an FIR for cheating and extorting money from several individuals, including Religare Enterprises’ former promoter Shivinder Mohan Singh’s wife Aditi Singh.