New Delhi: Kumar Ashish, the All India Congress Committee (AICC) secretary, appointed to assist Congress's general secretary in-charge of east Uttar Pradesh (UP) Priyanka Vadra, who caused the party public embarrassment for  having a criminal past, was sacked by party chief Rahul Gandhi.

Gandhi sacked him just a day after his appointment.  This is the second time that Ashish has been sacked from the party, though not before Gandhi was left red-faced for appointing a tainted person to the personal staff of his sister just ahead of the 2019 polls which is a make or break for the Congress.

According to Congress's general secretary in-charge of organisation KC Venugopal, Gandhi had not just sacked Ashish, but also appointed Sachin Naik to the position.

Also read: Priyanka Gandhi's new aide in Uttar Pradesh has criminal antecedents

Ashish, then a Youth Congress leader, was arrested in a police raid in Patna after he was found from the spot of a crime with other accused in a case of question paper leak in 2005. Patna Police raided Krishna Apartment on Boring Canal Road under the SK Puri police station. Ashish was caught red-handed.

Police investigation established that the question papers were leaked from AN College of Patna and brought to the apartment. Ashish, the then vice-president of state Youth Congress, emerged as one of the brains behind the organised crime of leaking question papers of intermediate exams and then selling it to parents of aspirants at high prices.

Kumar Ashish was booked under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) Section 420 (cheating), 406 (criminal breach of trust), 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant) and 120 B (criminal conspiracy). Photos showing him in a handcuff were splashed across vernacular media at the time.

Fallout of the arrest

Soon after Ashish’s arrest, Sanjeev Kumar, then vice-president of Bihar Pradesh Yuva Congress (BPYC), wrote to the national leadership, demanding his removal from the party. Very soon, he was sacked. Then Congress spokesperson Prem Chand Mishra was quoted to have said that Ashish had accepted his complicity in the crime.