Ahead of the Mayor’s election, both the Aam Aadmi Party and the Bharatiya Janata Party on Saturday accused each other of attempting to poach councillors.
Newly elected BJP councillor from Anand Vihar ward, Dr. Monika Pant, on Saturday filed a complaint with the Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) alleging that AAP leader Shikha Garg tried to bribe her for cross-voting in the upcoming mayoral polls.
“Shikha Garg introduced herself as the representative of AAP [Rajya Sabha] MP Sushil Gupta and sought my address. She later came to my house which has been caught in [the] CCTV footage. She offered me a political post in the MCD and special funds for my ward in lieu of cross-voting,” said Dr. Pant.
She, along with BJP MLA Vijender Gupta, submitted her complaint to the ACB chief Madhur Verma. Mr. Gupta claimed that AAP was “frustrated” by the thin majority it got in the MCD polls and was trying to “break other parties”.
In response, AAP called the allegations completely false and said the party has a full majority and doesn’t need support from others.
In the MCD polls held on December 4, for which the results were declared on Wednesday, AAP won 134 wards, narrowly crossing the halfway mark of 126, while the BJP was restricted to 104.
Earlier in the day, the Delhi unit of the BJP held a press conference and alleged that Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had come up with a new “temptation for councillors” model.
BJP national spokesperson Shehzad Poonawalla said, “Kejriwal’s agents are roaming from street to street and doing horse-trading. The party which started with the India Against Corruption campaign has today itself become AAP with corruption,” he said, adding that the BJP councillors were “staunch nationalists and will not be tempted by Kejriwal”.
AAP hits back
Meanwhile, AAP MP Sanjay Singh claimed that the BJP has a budget of “₹100 crore just to buy 10 AAP councillors”. He also urged the Delhi Police to arrest people who are allegedly part of this, including Delhi BJP chief Adesh Gupta, and send them to jail.
Mr. Singh alleged that the BJP was trying to throttle democracy by trading councillors and disrespecting the mandate of the people.
“A person named Yogesh called the councillor from ward no. 88 Dr Runakshi Sharma and said that BJP State president Adesh Gupta wants to talk to her. Gupta and BJP leaders mentioned about a budget of ₹100 crore to trade councillors. This budget is only for 10 councillors which means that ‘Bhartiya Khokha Party’ has allotted ₹10 crore for every councillor,” the AAP leader added.
He questioned whether there is any significance of democracy, elections and the people’s mandate for the BJP. “Do you have complete freedom to shamelessly install a BJP Mayor in the MCD despite getting 30 seats less than the majority? Will Delhi Police remain asleep on this matter or wake up to take action against them?” he asked.