Days after the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) levelled allegations of toppling its government in Punjab by offering bribes to its legislators, Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on September 19, 2022 announced to convene a special session of State Assembly to bring a confidence motion.
Mr. Mann after his return from Germany, in a video message, said that “...in the past few days you (people) must have heard, saw, and read how they tried to approach our MLAs and tried to bribe them with money, other allurements so that the elected government of Punjab can be toppled. But probably they don’t know that even during the election (2022) period in Punjab, the opposition parties had huge money with and other things to bribe people yet the people rejected them and entrusted faith in us (AAP).”
“People’s faith has no value in any currency of the world... On Thursday, 22 September, a special session of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha will be convened and this will be proved legally by submitting a vote of confidence... Long live the revolution..!”
“We will keep this faith intact. To present this trust legally before the people of Punjab we have convened a special session of State Assembly on September 22, in which we will bring a confidence motion,” he said.
While Mr. Mann in his video message didn’t made any mention of the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP), Finance Minister Harpal Singh Cheema had last week alleged that at least 10 AAP MLAs were approached by, what he termed, agents of the BJP from Delhi over the phone, who allegedly offered ₹25 crore to each of them to quit AAP and join the BJP.
Mr. Cheema stated that he along with AAP MLAs, who were ‘allured’ filed a formal complaint along with all proofs to the Punjab Director General of Police (DGP) Gaurav Yadav for a fair probe into the matter.
Punjab police on September 14 registered a first information report (FIR) under section 8 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 and Sections 171-B and 120-B of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), following the complaint filed by the AAP MLAs surrounding the offer of bribes. The investigation has been transferred to the Vigilance Bureau as per standard guidelines.