Shortly after Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann sacked a minister, Vijay Singla, over alleged corruption, he was rewarded with high praise from his party boss, Arvind Kejriwal, who said the move "brought tears to my eyes". The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief said it proved his party was the only one that could provide a "kattar imandar sarkar (strictly honest government)" anywhere in the country.
Vijay Singla, who was Punjab's Health Minister, was arrested soon after his sacking. He is accused of demanding a one per cent bribe to clear contracts.
"Proud of you Bhagwant. Your action has brought tears to my eyes. Whole nation today feels proud of AAP," Arvind Kejriwal, the Delhi Chief Minister, posted, sharing a video of Bhagwant Mann announcing the action.
Proud of you Bhagwant. Ur action has brought tears to my eyes.- Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) May 24, 2022
Whole nation today feels proud of AAP https://t.co/glg6LxXqgs
Mr Kejriwal said he had sacked one of his ministers for corruption soon after taking power in the capital.
"Bhagwant, we are proud of you. The entire Punjab is proud of you. The entire country is proud of you," he said in a video message later.
He said "people were moved to tears" but the opposition was baffled. "The opposition cannot understand how a party can function without corruption. Gardan kat jayegi but gaddari nahin karenge (we can sacrifice ourselves but we won't betray the country," the AAP chief declared.
Bhagwant Mann, who took over as Chief Minister after AAP's victory in Punjab less than two months ago, reportedly acted on complaints against the minister.
"A case had come to my knowledge, a minister of my govt was demanding a 1% commission for every tender. I took it very seriously. Nobody knew about it, had I wanted it could have brushed it under the carpet. But I would have broken the trust of people who trusted me," he said in a video message this morning.
"Not even one per cent corruption will be tolerated," Mr Mann said. "The people have voted for an AAP government with a lot of hope, we have to live up to it. As long as Mother India has a son like Arvind Kejriwal and a soldier like Bhagwant Mann, the great war against corruption will continue," he said, claiming Mr Singla had accepted the allegations.