Kejriwal tried to poach Congress MLAs: TV sting

Embarrassing the Aam Aadmi Party, a television channel released on Wednesday an audiotape, wherein Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is heard telling a former party MLA, Rajesh Garg, to poach six Congress legislators to form a government in Delhi last August.

Mr. Garg said the “conversation” took place before the Assembly was dissolved and fresh elections were announced. The AAP was reportedly trying to stake a claim to form a government.

“We are ready, but these people [Congress MLAs] are not agreeing [to it]. Manish [Sisodia] has been in touch with them. We have tried many times. We shouldn’t say publicly that we are seeking support. That will make us look desperate … Unless they agree, we shouldn’t say anything … Now, you should work towards separating these six from the party. These six should leave and form their own party and should give us support from outside,” Mr. Kejriwal is heard saying in the conversation.

Though the AAP initially said the audiotape was a doctored one, this position was tempered later by senior leader Ashish Khetan, who said the conversation did not necessarily suggest any wrongdoing.

“Even if we were to construe that the recording is genuine, horse-trading is a very strong term. We did not trade seats ... Political realignments are a reality, and we need to accept that.” Mr. Kejriwal, who is in Bangalore undergoing naturopathy, has previously been indignant at other parties for allegedly trying to poach AAP legislators.

Minutes after the tape went live on TV, AAP Maharashtra leader Anjali Damania tweeted that she was quitting the party.

On Wednesday, Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav released a statement denying the charges levelled against them by the Kejriwal camp on Tuesday. The two said the rift between Mr. Kejriwal and them started after the Lok Sabha election when the AAP chief suggested formation of a government in Delhi again with Congress support.

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Printable version | Jan 26, 2022 9:22:08 PM |

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