Following a complaint by a widow, former Shiromani Akali Dal minister Sucha Singh Langha was booked on a rape charge. However, the leader termed it a "political vendetta" and resigned from all party posts.
Langha was booked last night after the 35-year-old complainant alleged that the Akali leader had raped her repeatedly since 2009.
The former minister said the charge against him is "a classic example of political vendetta perpetuated at the most opportune moment" and announced that he would surrender before a court on Saturday.
"The victim alleged that she was raped repeatedly by Langha since 2009 and was threatened by him to not disclose it to anyone. The victim also gave a pen drive with a video recording to support her accusations," Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Harcharan Singh Bhullar said.
Based on preliminary investigation, Langha has been booked under sections 376 (rape), 384 (extortion), 420 (cheating) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the IPC, said Bhullar.
The SAD leader alleged that the rape case was an attempt to keep him away from the election campaign for the upcoming Gurdaspur by-election.
"As a responsible citizen, I forthwith resign from all party posts and from the membership of SGPC," said Langha, who served as the agriculture minister in the Akali Dal government from 2007 to 2012.