'BJP Has Kept Rs 800 Crore To Poach AAP MLAs': Kejriwal Prays At Rajghat For 'Op Lotus' Failure

'BJP Has Kept Rs 800 Crore To Poach AAP MLAs': Kejriwal Prays At Rajghat For 'Op Lotus' Failure

New Delhi: The AAP-BJP face-off escalated on Thursday as Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal claimed that the saffron party had set aside Rs 800 crore for toppling the Delhi government by luring 40 AAP MLAs to its camp. Speaking to reporters after visiting Rajghat with his MLAs to pray for the failure of BJP’s “Operation Lotus”, Kejriwal asserted that his government was stable, PTI reported.

“They (BJP) offered Rs 20 crore each to our MLAs. They have kept Rs 800 crore for toppling the Delhi government. But the citizens of the country want to know about the source of this money. Is it from GST or the PM CARES Fund? Have some of their friends given them this money?” Kejriwal said.

The AAP chief said his deputy Manish Sisodia, who is being probed by the CBI for alleged corruption in the Delhi excise policy case, was named in a “false FIR”.

I am very happy that not even a single MLA has accepted their offer. I want to tell the people of Delhi that you have voted for an honest party, we will die but will never betray the people of the country: Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal pic.twitter.com/TPVHqOiPS8

— ANI (@ANI) August 25, 2022

“Even mattresses and walls at Sisodia’s residence were searched by the CBI but not even a single unaccounted penny was found. No objectionable documents or jewellery were found,” PTI quoted Kejriwal as saying.

Kejriwal further alleged that the BJP was “offering Rs 20 crore each” to AAP MLAs “to topple the Delhi government”.

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“I am extremely happy that no MLA has yielded under pressure. They want to poach 40 MLAs but I want to tell the people of Delhi that they have voted for a hardcore honest government. Neither me nor my MLAs and ministers will betray the country and be sold out,” Kejriwal said at Rajghat.

Earlier in the day, 53 of AAP’s 62 MLAs in Delhi attended a meeting at CM Kejriwal’s residence. AAP leader Saurabh Bharadwaj said Kejriwal spoke over phone with the rest of the MLAs, who assured that they were with him “till their last breath”. 

After the meeting, Kejriwal and his MLAs went to Mahatma Gandhi’s memorial Rajghat “to pray for the failure of the BJP’s Operation Lotus”.

“This situation where they (BJP) are toppling governments is not good. We meditated and prayed that the situation in the country improves. We prayed for the nation’s progress and peace at Rajghat,” Kejriwal said.

Addressing a press conference, BJP spokesperson Sudhanshu Trivedi claimed that the visit of AAP leaders to Raj Ghat was part of their theatrics to divert people’s attention from the controversy over the liquor policy. Trivedi said BJP workers would sprinkle ‘Ganga Jal’ on Mahatma Gandhi’s memorial to “purify” it, PTI reported.

Meanwhile, addressing reporters separately, AAP’s Saurabh Bhardwaj said BJP’s “Operation Lotus” had failed in Delhi. He said the AAP leadership would stay in touch with its MLAs to ensure they do not get influenced by the saffron party.

“We are glad that ‘Operation Lotus’ failed in Delhi. We have recently seen in other states be it Maharasthra or Goa how the BJP lured MLAs and tried to topple governments, but it has not been able to do that in Delhi,” Bhardwaj told PTI.