Chandigarh: The Aam Aadmi Party MLA representing the the Bathinda Rural seat in Punjab, Amit Rattan Kotfatta, was arrested in a bribery case by the Vigilance Bureau, a top official said on Thursday.
The MLA was produced in a court in Bathinda, which sent him to four-day vigilance custody.
The arrest comes in the wake of his alleged close aide Rashim Garg being nabbed by the Punjab Vigilance Bureau in the same case.
Kotfatta is the second MLA of the AAP who has been arrested on graft charges, with then health minister Vijay Singla being arrested last year.
Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann said corruption will not be tolerated and anyone found guilty will be punished. "Bribery by anyone, in any way, will not be tolerated. Faith, love and expectations of the people of Punjab keep my spirit up," he tweeted in Punjabi. Those who take people's money will not be shown any mercy, Mann said, adding that his party has zero tolerance towards corruption.
Kotfatta had earlier denied any association with Garg and had also accused the opposition parties of trying to defame the AAP government in Punjab.
Shiromani Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Singh Badal said the arrest of the AAP MLA was "too little and too late". The MLA should have been arrested earlier after the vigilance bureau action, he said.
Punjab Congress chief Partap Singh Bajwa said with the arrest of the AAP MLA the stand of his party has been vindicated. "This is the third AAP MLA in less than a year who has been charged with corruption charges. Is this the 'badlav' (change) Mann and Arvind Kejriwal promised to the people of Punjab?" asked Bajwa.
"In coming time, more MLAs and a few ministers of AAP who are indulging in corruption will be exposed before the public," Bajwa tweeted.
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