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Arvind Kejriwal promises 'BJP-mukt country by 2029' as he seeks trust vote in Delhi Assembly

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal alleged that the BJP tried to poach AAP MLAs to topple his government saying they (AAP) is the biggest threat to the saffron party, during discussion on the confidence motion in the Delhi Assembly.

Shashwat Bhandari Edited By: Shashwat Bhandari @ShashBhandari New Delhi Updated on: February 17, 2024 14:44 IST
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal at the Vidhan Sabha,
Image Source : PTI Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal at the Vidhan Sabha, in New Delhi. He has moved Motion of Confidence in the Delhi Assembly.

Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) convenor Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday lashed out at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) saying AAP is the biggest challenge for the saffron party. 

Speaking in the Delhi Assembly ahead of the confidence motion moved by him on Friday, Kejriwal claimed that Manish Sisodia was asked to leave AAP.

"They (BJP) can arrest me not my thinking ideology... they are trying to poach AAP MLAs, AAP has become the biggest challenge for the BJP... the nation will be BJP-free in 2029...," Kejriwal said.

"...The biggest challenger of BJP is Aam Aadmi Party. Today if BJP is scared of anyone, it is AAP... With utmost responsibility, I want to say that if BJP does not lose Lok Sabha elections in 2024, then AAP will make India free from BJP in 2029...," Kejriwal said.

"The way they (BJP) have attacked the AAP and arrested our ministers; people across the country are aware of this. They think that people are fool, but they are not. Now discussions are being held in parks and people are asking 'does PM Modi want to crush Arvind Kejriwal'? Even children are asking this question because they have arrested so many of our ministers. Our number 2, number 3, number 4 are in jail, and talks are being held that soon number 1 will be arrested. This is happening because AAP is BJP's biggest challenger in the entire nation," Kejriwal said.

"If the BJP is afraid about its future, then it is only because of the AAP. That's why they want to break the AAP. If the BJP doesn't lose the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, then the AAP will surely make the country free of the BJP by 2029. The AAP was formed just 12 years ago. There are nearly 1,350 parties in the country. The AAP had applied for its registration on November 26, 2012, it has now become the third largest party in the country after the BJP and Congress," Kejriwal said during no-confidence motion.

"On contacting our MLAs, we found out that they tried to poach seven of our legislators. These MLAs today said in the House that they approached (by the BJP). Like Rajesh Gupta said, they (BJP) want us to show a proof. How can we show a proof? A person doesn't carry tape recorder all the time. They feel that the party (AAP) will collapse once Arvind Kejriwal is arrested. They can arrest Kejriwal but how will they arrest Kejriwal's thinking," the Delhi CM asked.

 

Kejriwal seeks trust vote as AAP claims BJP poaching its MLAs

The Delhi Assembly initiated a discussion on the motion of confidence brought by Arvind Kejriwal, who alleged that the BJP tried to poach AAP MLAs to topple his government.

Starting the discussion, the AAP's Kasturba Nagar MLA Madan Lal alleged that the BJP was persistently trying to "fail" and "paralyse" the Kejriwal government -- either by poaching party MLAs or interfering in its workings.

Leader of Opposition Ramvir Singh Bidhuri, the lone opposition representative in the House following the suspension of BJP members for the session, was not present when the discussion began. He arrived in the House shortly after.

Third trust motion by Kejriwal govt in three years 

This is the third motion of confidence of the Kejriwal government in the last three years. It comes amid the AAP's claims that the BJP wanted to break the party by offering money to its MLAs and toppling its government in Delhi.

The previous confidence motions came in August 2022 and March 2023, amid AAP allegations that the BJP was carrying out "Operation Lotus" to poach its MLA.

The AAP has an overwhelming majority in the Delhi Assembly, with 62 MLAs in the 70-member House. The opposition BJP has eight MLAs, of whom seven are currently suspended.

BJP offering AAP MLAs Rs 25 crore each, claims Kejriwal 

Tabling the motion of confidence on Friday, Kejriwal said, "Two MLAs had come to me saying they were contacted by BJP members offering them Rs 25 crore each. They were told that Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal will be arrested and the government will be toppled."

"They were also told that the BJP is in touch with 21 MLAs. They have made multiple attempts to approach our MLAs under 'Operation Lotus'. Even this time, our MLAs refused to budge," he had added.

Kejriwal said the AAP checked with all its MLAs after these claims and found that seven of its legislators were approached but none of them accepted the offer. He said the BJP knows it can never win elections in Delhi and that is why it is using different tactics to topple the AAP government.

"To show that none of our MLAs have defected, I present this resolution, 'The House expresses its trust in the Cabinet'," he had said.

During the discussion, the AAP's Kondli (East) MLA Kuldeep Kumar lashed out at the BJP and alleged that the saffron party has been "luring and threatening" opposition leaders across the country and claimed that attempts were made to poach him as well.

"This House has failed all the attempts by the BJP to topple our government. The BJP has been luring and threatening all opposition leaders across all states and tried to make the same attempt in Delhi as well. They try contacting us through our relatives. They blatantly accept that they control all central agencies and institutions," Kumar alleged.

He further said the AAP cannot be "bought by any other party" and that it is not scared of "threats and central agencies."

"They (BJP) think that they can purchase MLAs and topple the Delhi government. They don't know that we are loyal soldiers of Arvind Kejriwal and we will not bow before the BJP. The AAP cannot be bought by any party and our party is not scared of their threats and central agencies," he added.

The AAP's Dwarka (South-West) MLA Vinay Mishra alleged that the BJP "tried poaching our MLAs multiple times by offering powerful political positions and bribes".

"Multiple attempts have been made by the BJP to poach our MLAs. They not only offered powerful political positions but also bribes. They even threatened our MLAs.

These are blatant attempts only to topple our government," Mishra alleged.

Akhilesh Pati Tripathi, the AAP MLA from Model Town, claimed that there have been attempts to break the city government as the AAP has done the work that "the BJP and the Congress couldn't do in 70 years".

"People trust the AAP in Delhi and it is not easy to break this government. There are attempts to topple our administration because we have done the work that the BJP and the Congress couldn't do in the last 70 years. We have fulfilled the promises we made to the citizens, other parties didn't," Tripathi claimed.

With inputs from PTI

ALSO READ | Kejriwal appears virtually before Delhi court in ED summons case, next hearing on March 16

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