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FIR registered over AAP charge of BJP ‘offering money’ to MLAs

The move comes on a day after eight Congress MLAs in Goa joined the BJP, and a day earlier, the ruling AAP said that at least 10 of its MLAs were approached by the BJP with an offer of Rs 25 crore each if they jump boats.

Punjab Police, Aam Aadmi Party, FIR registered over AAP charge, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Punjab news, Chandigarh city news, Chandigarh, India news, Indian Express News Service, Express News Service, Express News, Indian Express India News Punjab Finance Minister Harpal Singh Cheema addresses a press conference on Wednesday. Express

The Punjab Police on Wednesday registered a case after a delegation of AAP MLAs led by finance minister Harpal Singh Cheema complained to DGP Gaurav Yadav, accusing the BJP of offering Rs 20-25 crore in an attempt to poach its MLAs to topple the government in Punjab.

FIR was registered under Section 8 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, and Sections 171-B and 120-B of IPC. Official spokesperson of Punjab Police said that they have registered an FIR and investigation has been transferred to the Vigilance Bureau as per standard guidelines.

The move comes on a day after eight Congress MLAs in Goa joined the BJP, and a day earlier, the ruling AAP said that at least 10 of its MLAs were approached by the BJP with an offer of Rs 25 crore each if they jump boats.

Earlier in the day, Cheema addressed a press conference and said that they have enough evidence to prove the horse-trading attempt. He said that Jalandhar MLA Sheetal Angural received a threat call on Tuesday that he should not make evidence of BJP’s calls to him public. “He was threatened to be eliminated and so we are going to the DGP with all evidence. BJP claims that I am lying, but their claim has now fallen flat. Congress MLAs from Goa jumped ship and joined the BJP. The BJP’s Operation Lotus in Goa is a proof in itself that the party was moving ahead in non-BJP states by launching its Operation Lotus by illegal means,” Cheema said, adding that Operation Lotus has already failed in Punjab.

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Jalandhar Central MLA Raman Arora added that he first received a call 10 days ago and the caller said “sangathan ke log aap ko milna chahte hain.” He added, “I ignored it but two days later, I received another call in which I was offered Rs 25 crore for joining the BJP. I promptly informed the party (AAP) and also shared the number from which I had received the call.”

Meanwhile, CM Bhagwant Mann, in a video message from Germany, asked MLAs to not be disloyal to their motherland. “BJP tried this Operation Lotus in Delhi also but it failed. Punjabis are loyal to the motherland. I want to tell them (BJP) not to try. Do not think you can buy representatives of Punjabis, who voted for these MLAs even when political parties were spending money like water. The people elected 92 of them.”

Cheema was accompanied by Deputy Speaker in Vidhan Sabha Jai Krishan Singh Rori, MLAs Budh Ram, Manjit Singh Bilaspur, Kulwant Singh Pandori, Dinesh Chadha, Narinder Kaur Bharaaj, Taranpreet Singh Sond, Raman Arora, Pushpinder Singh Happy, Rajnish Dahiya, Kuljit Singh Randhawa, Sheetal Angural and Labh Singh Ughoke.

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However, former Deputy CM Sukhjinder Randhawa said that the AAP did not know the protocol. He said, “A Deputy Speaker
cannot be a part of ruling party’s presser. He is a Deputy Speaker. Also, the minister should have summoned the DGP instead of himself leading a delegation to him. In protocol, a Cabinet minister is senior than DGP.”

Amid crisis in Punjab, AAP chief and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal called the party’s MLAs from the state for a meeting in Delhi. Sources said that this meeting was being held in light of Operation Lotus being conducted by BJP. Also, they said that while he is likely to tell them not to get scared by any threats, he would also assign duties to these MLAs for the upcoming elections in the state.

Meanwhile, reacting to the complaint submitted by AAP to Punjab DGP, state BJP president Ashwani Kumar Sharma said,
“Go, get an FIR lodged, the police is yours, sarkar is yours… expose these people. BJP will not run away, rather we will take on the government and tackle every such vague allegation head-on. The fact is that it (AAP) has been completely cornered over the excise policy which was withdrawn in Delhi but implemented in Punjab… A ground is being prepared to concoct a story.”

First published on: 15-09-2022 at 03:04:51 am
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