BJP tried to buy 10 AAP MLAs in Punjab for Rs 25 crore each: Arvind Kejriwal

NEW DELHI: Delhi Chief Minister and AAP national convenor Arvind Kejriwal accused the BJP on Wednesday of attempting to "buy" 10 of his party MLAs in Punjab by offering them Rs 25 crore each.

He also alleged that the saffron party is planning an "Operation Lotus" to poach MLAs from other parties in every state, either with the help of money or the fear of agencies such as the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED).

"We came to know on Tuesday that they (BJP) tried to buy MLAs in Punjab by offering them Rs 25 crore each. Ten of our MLAs were approached. They will address a press conference on Wednesday and expose the BJP," Kejriwal said.

"They are buying MLAs and making governments fall, which is dangerous for democracy," the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader told a press conference here.

He alleged that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is using public money to "buy" legislators due to which inflation is rising in the country.

Kejriwal also hit out at the Congress after eight of its MLAs in Goa switched over to the saffron camp, saying the grand old party has failed to prevent its lawmakers from being poached.

"The party that is buying MLAs is dangerous for democracy but the Congress is also at fault. Why only Congress MLAs get poached? Why can't they buy our MLAs despite their attempts?" he asked.

"They (BJP) tried to buy our MLAs in Delhi and now in Punjab, but we exposed them," he added.

Eight Congress legislators in Goa, including former chief minister Digambar Kamat, joined the ruling BJP on Wednesday, in a body blow to the opposition party, which is now left with just three MLAs in the 40-member state Assembly.

Later, Kejriwal also took to Twitter and questioned the BJP's source of money to "buy" MLAs.

"After Delhi, these people (BJP) have now reached Punjab to buy our MLAs. Where are these thousands of crores of rupees coming from? They should understand -- we are not the Congress, no one can buy us. The way they are making elected governments fall one by one, this has become a very serious issue for the country and democracy," he said in a tweet in Hindi.

The AAP's Punjab leadership said it will submit a complaint to the director general of police along with evidence in support of its allegation that the BJP is offering Rs 20-25 crore each to its MLAs in an attempt to topple the Bhagwant Mann government.

Replying to a query on a photo being circulated on social media where he is seen travelling purportedly in a chartered plane, Kejriwal said it was a tactic of the saffron party to divert the attention of people from real issues ahead of the Gujarat polls.

"We are getting a good response in Gujarat. They (BJP) never debate on real issues. When you ask them about the condition of schools in Gujarat, they circulate some picture. These are tactics (to divert public attention from issues). Many such things will come up before the polls," he said.

Asked about discrepancies in the delimitation of municipal wards in Delhi, Kejriwal said the AAP will report the issues to the delimitation commission.

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