Atishi claims she received offer to join BJP, which denies claim and threatens legal action

AAP leader claims she was threatened with arrest if she did not accept the BJP’s offer to “save” her political career; Delhi BJP chief demands that she produces proof or apologises for her allegation

April 02, 2024 10:38 am | Updated 08:35 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Senior AAP Leader and Delhi Cabinet Minister Atishi addresses a press conference at AAP Headquarters in New Delhi on April 2, 2024.

Senior AAP Leader and Delhi Cabinet Minister Atishi addresses a press conference at AAP Headquarters in New Delhi on April 2, 2024. | Photo Credit: Shashi Shekhar Kashyap

Aam Aadmi Party leader and Delhi Minister Atishi said on Tuesday that she has received an offer to join the Bharatiya Janata Party in order to “save” her “political career”, adding that she was threatened with arrest if she did not accept. The BJP, however, dismissed the claim, asking Ms. Atishi to apologise for her “false allegation” or to provide proof with details of the person who had approached her.

“I want to inform the people of the country that the BJP approached me through an individual who is personally very close to me, to join their party,” Ms. Atishi said. “I was told to either join the BJP, to save and extend my political career, and [that] if I will not join the BJP, then I would be arrested by the ED within a month.”

Referring to the chain of arrests of AAP leaders, she alleged that the BJP has decided to “crush and eliminate the AAP” by putting its leaders in jail. She claimed that she has received information regarding an Enforcement Directorate (ED) raid on her personal residence, adding that other AAP leaders Saurabh Bharadwaj, Durgesh Pathak, and Raghav Chadha would also be arrested.

Also Read: The legal issues surrounding Arvind Kejriwal’s arrest | Explained

BJP demands apology

In a press conference, Delhi BJP president Virendra Sachdeva and Northeast Delhi MP Manoj Tiwari said that the BJP is not running any such operation nor will it do so in the future. Instead, they alleged that AAP leaders are leaving the party because they have understood the web of lies that the AAP has been spreading.

Mr. Sachdeva said that Ms. Atishi and Mr. Bharadwaj should either present evidence of the allegations associated with their Operation Lotus or apologise to the BJP immediately, or be prepared to face legal action.

“We want Atishi to tender an apology for putting a false allegation against us or provide proof of the person who approached her. We will take legal action if she does not back her claim by this evening,” Mr. Tiwari said.

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