BJP offered 7 AAP MLAs Rs 25 crore to quit party: CM

| | New Delhi
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BJP offered 7 AAP MLAs Rs 25 crore to quit party: CM

Sunday, 28 January 2024 | Staff Reporter | New Delhi

Amid Bihar political turmoil in the Opposition’s INDIA bloc, Delhi Chief Minister and AAP convener Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday claimed that there has been a conspiracy to topple his Government and recently and accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of attempting to “buy” seven Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLAs with an offer of `25 crore each. Kejriwal claimed that the BJP engaged in talks with the AAP legislators and purportedly threatened imminent arrest for the Delhi Chief Minister in connection with the Delhi liquor policy case.

According to Kejriwal, the callers claimed they were in contact with 21 AAP MLAs. The MLAs were allegedly promised `25 crore and a BJP ticket each to contest the elections after the toppling of the Delhi government, the AAP leader charged.  

Kejriwal added that all the seven AAP MLAs refused to quit the party.  

He also claimed that attempts were being made to get him arrested in connection with the alleged liquor scam to bring down the AAP government in Delhi.  Several conspiracies were hatched in the past nine years to topple the AAP government in Delhi but they all failed, Kejriwal said.  “God and the people always supported us. This time also these people will fail in their nefarious intentions,” he said.

The development came at a time when the Opposition bloc INDIA is on a limb after the AAP in Punjab and the Trinamool Congress in West Bengal decided against fighting the Lok Sabha election together. The bloc’s internal turmoil also seems to have intensified amid strong indications that Chief Minister and JD(U) chief Nitish Kumar may do yet another volte-face and return to the BJP-led NDA.

In the long post on X, Kejriwal also said, “ Recently, they [BJP] has contacted 7 of our MLAs of Delhi and said - ‘We will arrest Kejriwal after a few days. After that, we will break the MLAs. Talks have been held with 21 MLAs. Talking to others also. After that, we will topple the Aam Aadmi Party government in Delhi. You can also come. Will give Rs 25 crore and contest the elections on BJP ticket.’

Despite the claim of contacting 21 MLAs, Kejriwal insisted that the information available to the AAP suggests that only seven MLAs have been approached, and all of them have firmly declined the tempting offer.

“This means that I am not being arrested to investigate any liquor scam but they are conspiring to topple the Aam Aadmi Party government in Delhi,” Kejriwal stated.

“In the last nine years, they hatched many conspiracies to topple our government. But they did not get any success. God and the people always supported us. All our MLAs are also strongly together. This time also these people will fail in their nefarious intentions.”Kejriwal added that the alleged attempts to destabilise his government are driven by the AAP’s good work in the national capital.

“These people know our government has done so much work for the people of Delhi. Despite all the obstacles created by them, we have accomplished so much. The people of Delhi love AAP hugely. It is not in their power to defeat AAP in the elections. So they want to topple the government through the arrest on the pretext of a fake liquor scam.”

 At a press conference here, Delhi minister Atishi alleged that the BJP has launched “Operation Lotus 2.0” in Delhi. “They had made a similar attempt to poach AAP MLAs last year by offering them money but failed,” she claimed.  She said similar conspiracies were hatched by the BJP in the past also. In 2022, they tried to break away AAP MLAs and get them join the BJP by promising them money, she added.

The Delhi Minister charged that the BJP undertook “Operation Lotus” in states where it failed to form its government. Such operations were conducted in the past in states like Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh and Goa, she alleged.  Atishi claimed that the recording of one caller who contacted an AAP MLA is available and it will be brought into public domain at the right time.

Delhi BJP president Virendra Sachdeva hit back saying, “This shows how much politically desperate Kejriwal has become. This unfounded allegation by him is an attempt to keep himself politically alive. The allegation that the BJP wants to break away MLAs of the ruling AAP, having 62 out of 70 MLAs in Delhi, shows his mental bankruptcy.”

Delhi BJP vice president Kapil Mishra has also slammed the Kejriwal, saying he had made such baseless allegations in the past without any proof or evidence.

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