Stepping up its attack on BJP’s "Operation Lotus", the ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Punjab on Wednesday lodged a complaint with the state director general of police (DGP) reiterating its allegations that BJP was trying to buy its legislators to topple its government and naming its 11 MLAs who had been approached by BJP so far for the purpose.
While Punjab finance minister Harpal Cheema had levelled the same allegations on Tuesday though, was dared by BJP to name the AAP MLAs approached and those who contacted them with their particulars and phone numbers.
Accompanied by the 11 MLAs, Cheema met Punjab DGP Gaurav Yadav on Wednesday and filed the complaint accusing the BJP of trying to topple the AAP government in Punjab by offering up to Rs 25 crore to each MLAs.
Cheema alleged that the AAP legislators approached by BJP were Baljinder Kaur, Sheetal Angural, Dinesh Chadha, Raman Arora, Budh Ram, Kulwant Pandori, Narinder Bharaj, Rajnish Dahiya, Manjit Bilaspur, Rupinder Happy and Labh Singh Ugoke. Jalandhar MLA Sheetal Angural was also given a death threat, he went on to further allege.
It is pertinent to mention that the AAP had registered a landslide victory in the assembly elections in Punjab in March 2022, winning 92 of the total 117 seats. While Congress has 18 MLAs, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) four (inclusive of one of its allies, BSP), the BJP has only two MLAs in the assembly and there is one independent legislator.
AAP is fooling people, media, says BJP:
Rebuking AAP charges, state BJP chief spokesperson Anil Sareen held that the AAP was only trying to fool the people of Punjab and the media while Cheema’s allegations were just a bundle of lies.
Sareen told FPJ that it was surprising that the AAP which had a government in the state and that too with an absolute majority, was shying away from telling the police the names or particulars of person or persons who had called AAP MLAs physically or telephonically and getting a first information report (FIR) registered against him or them.
Alleging that AAP was just trying to play to the gallery, Sareen further held that it was the habit of the AAP leaders to divert the attention of the public from its failures by raising such false and concocted stories and hide the ongoing bitter conflict between state chief minister Bhagwant Mann and party’s convener Arvind Kejriwal.
Sareen also alleged that it was an attempt of the AAP to divert the public attention from corruption cases involving its own leaders in Punjab, the latest case being against its food processing and horticulture minister Fauja Singh Sarari, who is currently in news for allegedly making an "extortion'' plan.