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AAP MLA interrogated by ACB for 11 hours, denies allegations

AAP MLA Akhilesh Pati Tripathi was interrogated by the anti-corruption department of the Delhi government for nearly 11 hours on Thursday in connection with the MCD polls bribery case, officials said.

During interrogation, a senior official said, Tripathi refuted the allegations against him and his associates, including his relative, who were arrested by the ACB on Wednesday.

The ACB had arrested Tripathi’s brother-in-law and his two associates for allegedly demanding Rs 90 lakh as a bribe for arranging a ticket for the wife of an AAP employee, Gopal Khari, to participate in the upcoming elections for the Municipal Corporation of Delhi.

Tripathi was asked to appear before the ACB at 11:00 AM, but he reached the office at around 10:30 PM. He left the ACB office around 9 p.m., the official said.

“He was questioned for almost 11 hours today. He claimed that he and his associates, including his brother-in-law, had not taken money from the AAP employee and that he was impartial,” the official said.

Model Town’s AAP MLA claimed never to have met Khari in person, he said.

“To verify his claims, we will review CCTV footage from the home and office of the arrested MLA and his associates,” he added.

The case came to light on Monday after Khari, who claims to have been an active worker at the AAP since 2014, took his complaint to the ACB.

Khari met Tripathi on November 9 with a request for a ticket from AAP for his wife to participate in the Ward No. MCD polls. 69 in Kamla Nagar, the ACB said.

Tripathi reportedly demanded Rs 90 lakh to secure a ticket for Khari’s wife. Khari paid Rs 35 lakh to him. According to the complaint, he also allegedly gave Rs 20 lakh to AAP MLA Rajesh Gupta at Tripathi’s insistence.

Khari had told Tripathi that the remaining amount would be paid after getting the ticket, he said.

After Khari failed to find his wife’s name on the list of candidates released by the AAP on Sunday, Tripathi’s brother-in-law Om Singh contacted him and assured him that they would give him one in the next election. Singh also offered to return the bribe, the complaint said.

According to the ACB, the complainant also provided audio and video recordings of its alleged transactions during the payment and return of the bribe amount.

The MCD with 250 wards will go to the polls on December 4 and the vote count will take place on December 7.

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