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Kejriwal claims 40 MLAs targeted by BJP with Rs 20 crore offer each

Delhi Excise Policy scam: Kejriwal visited Mahatma Gandhi's memorial at Rajghat along with Aam Aadmi Party MLAs to pray for the country, asserting that the AAP government is stable as his party legislators are not for sale.

Reported By: PTI New Delhi Updated on: August 25, 2022 20:54 IST
Delhi Chief Minister and AAP Convener Arvind Kejriwal
Image Source : PTI Delhi Chief Minister and AAP Convener Arvind Kejriwal

Highlights

  • Delhi CM Kejriwal accused BJP of trying to topple his government
  • He alleged BJP was offering Rs 800 crore to 40 of his legislators for switching sides
  • BJP hit back hard, saying AAP's allegations were like a "movie script"

Delhi Excise Policy scam: A high-voltage drama unfolded on Thursday with Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal summoning the AAP MLAs at his residence as he accused the BJP of trying to topple his government by offering Rs 800 crore to 40 of his legislators for switching sides and asked if this money came from GST collections, PM CARES Fund or some of its "friends".

Kejriwal visited Mahatma Gandhi's memorial at Rajghat along with Aam Aadmi Party MLAs to pray for the country, asserting that the AAP government is stable as his party legislators are not for sale. AAP chief spokesperson Saurabh Bhardwaj said the "Operation Lotus" by the BJP has failed.

The BJP hit back hard, saying the AAP's allegations were like a "movie script" and the party was indulging in theatrics.

Hours after AAP MLAs visited Rajghat, BJP leaders sprinkled Ganga water to "purify" the memorial as those who offered "Pauwwe par Pauwwa" in Delhi (one plus one scheme under the excise policy) went there to absolve them of their "sin".

MP Manoj Tiwari compared Kejriwal with German Nazi politician Joseph Goebbels for allegedly telling lie repeatedly to divert attention from the "liquor scam" of his government.

Wading into the issue, Congress leader Alka Lamba termed the Rajghat visit of AAP MLAs as a "high voltage drama", questioning why the AAP is not approaching police or ED about the poaching attempts and assured them of Congress' support if their claims are true.

The day began with AAP leaders claiming that nearly a dozen party MLAs were incommunicado ahead of the meeting at the chief minister's residence, even as after the head count exercise later they said all the 62 party MLAs were accounted for.

Bhardwaj said 53 MLAs were physically present in the meeting while one -- Okhla MLA Amanatullah Khan -- attended it over phone. Seven MLAs, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, Speaker Ram Niwas Goel, were out of station and minister Satyendar Jain is in jail.

"They(BJP) need 40 MLAs to topple my government. They have kept aside Rs 800 crore for toppling the Delhi government. People of the country want to know about the source of this money- is it from GST or the PM CARES Fund? Have some of their friends given them this money?" Kejriwal told reporters at Rajghat.

Kejriwal in the same breath also praised his deputy Sisodia and MLAs saying they will prefer to loose their heads rather than get sold out.

"Even mattresses and walls at Sisodia's residence were searched by the CBI but not even a single unaccounted penny or objectionable documents was found," he said in reference to recent raid by the central agency at his deputy's residence in connection with alleged irregularities in the excise policy. The agency has named Sisodia as an accused in the case.

"I am extremely happy that no MLA has yielded under pressure. They want to poach 40 MLAs, but I want to tell the people of Delhi that they have voted for a hardcore honest government. Neither me nor my MLAs and ministers will betray the country and be sold out," Kejriwal said.

He said the AAP MLAs prayed at Rajghat for peace to prevail in the country at a time "attempts" were being made to "topple state governments".

"They toppled the Maharashtra, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh & Goa governments, they’re after the Delhi Government now, they are setting a dangerous precedent for this country," Kejriwal said.

BJP spokesperson Sudhanshu Trivedi said his party has been consistently asking the AAP to come clean on its excise policy, but the Kejriwal dispensation has been trying every possible "trick" in the book to divert people's attention elsewhere.

"The fact that they (AAP leaders) have gone to Mahatma Gandhi's memorial means they have definitely committed an act which is to be considered a sin. So, in order to purify it, the BJP workers will sprinkle Ganga Jal on the Samadhi," Trivedi said.

Reacting to the AAP's claims that BJP was trying to poach its MLAs with an offer of Rs 20 crore each to switch sides, BJP MP Tiwari said that everyday the AAP was coming up with old "movie scripts" to divert the public from the real issue.

He said AAP performed a "flop show" in its desperation to wriggle out of the heat faced by the Kejriwal government over liquor "scam".

"Are these (AAP leaders) descendants of Goebbels even worthy of visiting the Samadhi of Mahatma Gandhi?" Kejriwal always comes up with the same old, tired movie script to divert public attention. Kejriwal has become a descendant of Goebbels who believed people started believing a lie if told repeatedly," Tiwari said.

The Kejriwal government has also called a special session of Delhi Assembly to discuss the current probe and raids by CBI and ED involving party ministers and the alleged poaching attempt by the BJP to wean away AAP MLAs.

ALSO READDelhi liquor policy scam: 'MLAs threatened, offered bribes to break party', says Arvind Kejriwal

ALSO READArvind Kejriwal calls meet of AAP MLAs to discuss alleged poaching by BJP; Special Assembly session on Friday

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