The Aam Aadmi Party on Wednesday alleged that seven of its MLAs were approached with an offer of ₹10 crore each by the BJP to leave the party before the Lok Sabha election.
Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia claimed that the BJP was talking to more AAP MLAs, but insisted that its mission would not be successful. “People from the BJP contacted seven AAP MLAs and said that if they leave the party before the [Lok Sabha] election, they will give them ₹10 crore each. They are talking to more, but the seven have told us,” he said.
“I want to tell the BJP, [party president] Amit Shah and [Prime Minister Narendra] Modi ji, don’t try to buy AAP MLAs and fight election; if you have courage, fight election on issues. You will try to buy them and they will tell us [about it]. You can’t buy AAP MLAs,” he asserted.
Mr. Sisodia said Mr. Modi should be “ashamed”, referring to the latter’s earlier comment that 40 Trinamool Congress MLAs in West Bengal were in touch with him.
“Is it right for the Prime Minister to say that? He is saying it openly that to weaken democracy he is going to buy 40 MLAs. He should be ashamed. There [West Bengal] he wants to buy TMC MLAs, in Delhi, the BJP wants to buy AAP MLAs,” the AAP leader said.
He said the BJP has no issues to fight the election in Delhi. “They were able to get one of our MLAs from Bawana before the MCD elections, but people taught the BJP a lesson.
If you have any agenda to change the country, then fight the election on it,” Mr. Sisodia said. “Modi ji, if you have done anything for the people in the last five years, then fight the election on it,” he added.
AAP leader Gopal Rai said the alleged attempt to buy legislators showed that the BJP’s seven candidates in Delhi are going to lose. “The BJP’s actions show that it does not believe in democracy. Delhiites will reply like they did in Bawana [bypoll which AAP won by a huge margin],” he said.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who took out his first election roadshow in Delhi on Wednesday, said, “In the last three days seven of our MLAs have said that BJP people have contacted them and offered ₹10 crore to break them.
This is not becoming of a Prime Minister.” When asked whether AAP had any proof, Mr. Kejriwal said, “Will give all proof on time.”
Delhi BJP president Manoj Tiwari dismissed AAP’s claim as a “joke”. “Are they the same seven [AAP MLAs] who beat up Kejriwal a week ago,” he said, denying any such attempt by the BJP to poach seven AAP legislators.