Other States

AAP accuses BJP of trying to poach its MP, MLAs from Punjab

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Sunday accused the BJP of trying to poach its lawmakers from Punjab, including its State unit president Bhagwant Mann who claimed he was offered money and a place in the Union Cabinet if he joined the party ahead of the Assembly election.

There was no immediate reaction from the BJP to the allegations.

Without naming anyone, Mr. Mann, who is an MP from Sangrur, claimed that a senior BJP leader contacted him four days ago and asked him, “What would you take to join the BJP?”.

The AAP leader claimed he was asked if he needed money and was told that he would be made a Union Cabinet Minister if he joined the BJP.

“I told him (BJP leader) that I am on a mission not on commission,” Mr. Mann told reporters in Chandigarh.

Taking a swipe at the BJP, AAP spokesperson Raghav Chadha claimed that 25 Congress MLAs have been approaching his party to join it, but the AAP doesn't want this “garbage” and said he is ready to share the list with the BJP if it wants to take them in its fold.

Mr. Chadha alleged that “top BJP leaders” from Delhi had approached the AAP leaders in Punjab over phone requesting them to join the party and offering bribes.

“Senior-most leaders of the BJP are making phone calls from Delhi to our party leaders, MP, MLAs in Punjab requesting them to join the BJP offering them to take any amount of money, land, property and position they want for coming to their party fold quitting the AAP,” Mr. Chadha alleged in a press conference in Delhi.

“Calls have been made to our MP Bhagwant Singh Mann directly from the office of Amit Shah (Union Home Minister),” he added.

Hitting out at the BJP, he said leaders and workers of AAP “can neither be intimidated nor purchased”.

Mr. Chadha asked the BJP not to try to poach AAP’s MLAs and MP from Punjab, saying that all the phone calls from BJP leaders will now be recorded and made public.

“We will make the recorded conversation over the phone public. All the AAP leaders have been asked to record the phone calls from now on from the BJP leaders,” he said.

Refusal to share names

Mr. Chadha, co-convenor of the party's political affairs in Punjab, refused to share the names of other AAP leaders and MLAs who were allegedly contacted by the BJP leaders from Delhi in this connection.

“They have been contacted and asked to quote their price or tell whatever they want for quitting the AAP and joining the BJP,” he alleged.

Mr. Chadha claimed that as many as 25 Congress MLAs have been “constantly” approaching the AAP expressing their interest in joining the party.

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Printable version | Jan 22, 2022 7:55:49 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/aap-accuses-bjp-of-trying-to-poach-its-mp-mlas-from-punjab/article37859566.ece

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