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Go, get an FIR lodged, expose the guilty: BJP on AAP claims

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 The fact is that it (AAP) has been completely cornered over the excise policy which was withdrawn in Delhi but implemented in Punjab...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.”

Cheema on Tuesday alleged that some MLAs of the ruling party were lured by the BJP and offered money for shifting loyalties, in an attempt to topple the AAP government in Punjab.

Reacting to the complaint submitted by AAP to Punjab DGP alleging that BJP was trying to buy its (AAP’s) MLAs by offering Rs 20-25 crore each to its legislators in an attempt to topple the Bhagwant Mann government, Punjab BJP president Ashwani Kumar Sharma said, “Go, get an FIR lodged, 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 The fact is that it (AAP) has been completely cornered over the excise policy which was withdrawn in Delhi but implemented in Punjab… A ground is being prepared to concoct a story.”

Punjab BJP chief spokesperson Anil Sarin said, “We welcome the decision of AAP to lodge a formal complaint before the DGP. Let the whole issue be inquired into and the guilty be exposed before the people. Only then the truth will come out as to who made the phone calls. However, I am surprised that till now Punjab Finance Minister Harpal Singh Cheema didn’t disclose names of even a single MLA who got the calls. It (AAP) should make the names of MLAs and mobile numbers public. What is stopping AAP from doing so? It is surprising to know that its MLA got threats and it (AAP) didn’t get any FIR lodged till date. Arrest the guilty who offered you money, or even gave threat calls, we (BJP) are with you.” Dr Subash Sharma, BJP Punjab general secretary, said, “Why can’t it (AAP) make the phone numbers and names of callers public. Let their details be known to everyone. You (AAP) have an absolute majority but still are under threat. That is surprising.”

Cheema on Tuesday alleged that some MLAs of the ruling party were lured by the BJP and offered money for shifting loyalties, in an attempt to topple the AAP government in Punjab.

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When asked if any AAP, Congress or SAD MLA was in touch with them (BJP), Ashwani Kumar Sharma replied in the negative. The Punjab BJP chief said that “the law and order situation in Punjab has taken a hit in the past six months. Everyone knows about it. Cheema should first focus on setting his own house in order. The fact is that AAP convenor Arvind Kejriwal always had an eye on Punjab. But he had his compulsions to make Bhagwant Mann CM as the local people wanted a Punjabi face. Kejriwal has made its Rajya Sabha member Raghav Chadha sit in Chandigarh to keep a watch on the functioning of the Punjab government. ‘Kattar imaandaar’ is being exposed slowly”. “Illegal sand mining is rampant in Punjab. AAP is doing nothing about it. Many of its pre-election promises haven’t been fulfilled.

Instead of keeping its word, it is playing the politics of distraction. AAP has a huge mandate of 92 MLAs, still it’s in panic,” Sharma added.

Earlier in the day, Punjab Congress president Amrinder Singh Raja Warring asked the AAP government in Punjab to get the issue of bribes allegedly being offered to its MLAs probed by some independent investigating agency under the supervision of the high court. He offered his party’s support to the government “since the nature of allegations was serious and amounted to subversion of the constitutional process and attempts to steal the popular mandate”.

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Addressing a press conference here on Wednesday, the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) president, however, expressed strong doubts about the AAP government getting it probed since the allegations were being made “according to a pre-dictated script to divert and deflect attention from the failures of the government”. He said, “If the AAP is really truthful about the allegations that its MLAs are being poached, then why was it not registering a case in the matter.”

Senior Congress leader and Punjab’s leader of the Opposition Partap Singh Bajwa asked the AAP leaders to “produce concrete evidence against the BJP on the allegations of horse-trading in the state”. Bajwa said though Cheema stated that “BJP attempted to buy nearly 35 of the AAP MLAs but in the press conference only 10 of them were presented before the media. If this was such a serious issue why the entire set of AAP MLAs could not be presented before the media?”

He asked, “Why were the facts of alleged purchase of MLAs not shared with the media if those are so credible and unflinching?”

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Bajwa also said “The BJP leadership should immediately get a criminal case registered and also file a defamation suit against the AAP for levelling “false” allegations.” SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal said, “There is smoke only where there is fire. It is clear that the AAP legislators are up for grabs. That is why a value is being put on them.

They should not become ready partners to switch sides.” BJP national general secretary Tarun Chugh demanded a CBI investigation into the accusations. Chugh said, “It is the most ridiculous joke that AAP is playing on Punjabis for the simple reason that they want to deflect the people’s attention from gross corruption the AAP government has done in liquor policy in Punjab.”

First published on: 15-09-2022 at 06:05 IST
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