AAP MLA and Punjab President of the party Bhagwant Mann on Sunday alleged that he was offered money and a Union cabinet berth by a very senior BJP leader as enticement to join the party.
Addressing a press conference here on Sunday, Mann also alleged that the BJP was trying to poach MLAs of AAP in Punjab and that similar allurements have been made to them too.
“I was approached by a very senior BJP leader who asked me what amount of money I would take to join BJP. He also said that since I was the lone MP of AAP, my joining BJP will not attract anti-defection law and I will be offered a cabinet berth of my choice at the Centre,” Mann said.
The two-time Lok Sabha MP from Sangrur in Punjab added that he declined the offer saying that he was “on a mission and not commission”. He said he had brought up AAP in Punjab through blood and sweat and that he will not abandon the party.
“BJP has no stature in Punjab. Its leaders are not allowed to even enter the villages due to the three farm laws that it enacted and which resulted in the death of more than 700 farmers. No one who has the future of Punjab on his mind will join a party which caused the death of so many people in Lakhimpur Kheri,” he said.
Mann added that further revelations will be made later. “Our MLAs and office bearers have also been approached by BJP. The press conference will reveal more facts,” he said.
When asked to name the BJP leader who made him the offer to join the party, Mann said that he will do so in due course of time. “BJP has been doing this in other states such as MP, Karnataka, Goa and Meghalaya. They think they can do this in Punjab too. They claim to have broken up Congress also. These are very bad signs in a democracy if parties are sought to be broken through money power,” he said.
Meanwhile, Jivan Gupta, state general secretary of BJP dismissed Mann’s allegations as a figment of his imagination. “These allegations are just an attempt by Bhagwant Mann to increase his own importance in AAP. Lately, he has been sidelined in AAP and therefore he has resorted to such wild allegations against BJP,” said Gupta.
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