AAP battled credibility issues after nasty sting

In the run-up to the Assembly elections Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party conducted its own opinion polls, and claimed it will end up forming the next Delhi government.

But if nothing else, it always threatened to play a spoiler in the just-ended Assembly elections.

The party screened potential candidates criminal backgrounds before giving them tickets.  However, with less than two weeks to go for the polls, it suffered a serious credibility crisis with a sting operation in which candidates were accused of raising funds through illegal means.

The sting was conducted by website www.mediasarkar.com on nine members, including senior party leaders Shazia Ilmi and Kumar Vishwas. It showed a reporter – pretending  to be   from a private firm seeking help to malign the image of a rival company – contacting Ilmi.

Ilmi allegedly first gave her consent for this, seeking certain documents against the rival company.  And, as the allegation goes, when she was offered money, she agreed to help without any document. Other leaders also ‘caught’ in the sting included Manoj Kumar, Dinesh Mohaniya, Irfan Ullah Khan, Mukesh Hooda, Prakash and Bhawna Gaur.

Ilmi rubbished the allegations, and offered to withdraw from the contest to save the party from getting a bad name. Kejriwal also said that they were expecting “many more sting operations” as their growing popularity had unsettled many.

“We will not spare anyone if found guilty,” he said, adding he knew who were behind it as BJP and Congress have been routed by AAP. The party also claimed that the tapes were doctored. A team led by AAP leader Yogendra Yadav examined the 14-hour-long footage and came to a conclusion that there were “lot of problems” with it.

Accusing journalist Anuranjan Jha of Media Sarkar of not being truthful, Yadav had said, “The video shown has been edited and shown in a way to put AAP leaders in poor light.

No conclusion can be drawn on the basis of the CD shown.” “This sting operation has not been done by Anuranjan Jha in the interest of this country but just as a middleman for the Congress and BJP,” AAP leader Manish Sisodia added.

Amid the controversies, Kejriwal and rest of the candidates continued campaigning across the capital carrying brooms and witnessed widespread support.

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