Arvind Kejriwal today alleged that 10 MLAs of his Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) were approached by the BJP in an attempt to bring down the Punjab government.
“Our 10 MLAs have been approached in Punjab by the BJP; they are buying MLAs and breaking governments,” Arvind Kejriwal said.
Mr Kejriwal and AAP had recently accused the BJP of trying an “Operation Lotus” in Delhi and inducing MLAs to defect.
The party claims that the BJP has shifted its focus to Punjab, having failed in Delhi.
“Operation Lotus” is the term used by Opposition parties to describe what they call “poaching” of MLAs by the BJP to topple governments.
Punjab Minister Harpal Cheema has alleged that AAP MLAs have been asked to come to Delhi to meet big leaders, and have been offered crores to switch sides.
“Come to Delhi, will get you to meet the big BJP leaders,” claimed Mr Cheema citing one of the calls received by a party MLA.
Earlier this month, the Arvind Kejriwal-led party accused the BJP of misusing central government’s agencies and offering “Rs 20 crore each” to some of its Delhi MLAs to cross over to the national party.
“The BJP is offering Rs 25 crore per MLA to switch sides. Operation Lotus may have succeeded in Karnataka, but the Delhi MLAs stayed firm and failed the BJP operation,” said Mr Cheema at a press conference.
“If there is a change of government in Punjab, you (MLAs) will be offered big promotions, posts,” said Mr Cheema, reiterating that MLAs have received very many calls asking them to bring down the Bhagwant Mann-led government.
The BJP has dismissed the charge.
“The baseless allegation made by the Punjab minister Harpal Cheema against the BJP of toppling the state government shows that AAP is leading to a big split in Punjab. The party is on the verge of being torn apart by Kejriwal’s interference,” said the BJP’s Subhash Sharma.