Have Audio Video Evidence Of BJP Offering Money: Raghav Chadha To NDTV


New Delhi:

The Aam Aadmi Party today said it has audio-visual evidence of BJP attempts to persuade its legislators to change sides in Punjab. All of it has been presented to the Punjab police, a case has been filed and the details will be made public in time, said the party, which is locked in a face-off with the Punjab Governor since yesterday over a proposed trust vote.

“We have both audio and video evidence of BJP offering money to AAP MLAs. We have met and submitted this evidence with the Punjab DGP and an FIR has been filed too… We will expose the BJP. We are not the Congress,” senior AAP leader Raghav Chadha told NDTV today. “Don’t worry, we will not let anyone down. We have all the evidence and will release it soon,” he added in the exclusive interview.  

AAP’s claim of an “Operation Lotus” in Punjab has put it in collision course with the Governor for the last two days. The party has dug in its heels after Governor Banwarilal Purohit turned down the government’s call for a special session of the assembly for a trust vote yesterday — two days after he summoned a special session on September 22.  

Calling the Governor’s decision “murder of democracy”, Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann has called a meeting of MLAs.

“Today the Governor of the state of Punjab has become party to Operation Lotus that has been engineered and implemented by the BJP,” Mr Chadha said. “The BJP called several of our MLAs in Punjab and said ‘We will give you 25 crore rupees each, plus a ministerial berth or a fancy chairmanship and you cross over’. The timeline to do this is 31 December 2022,” he added.

“The Governor is not a headmaster and cannot dictate what can be brought to the house and what can’t be,” Mr Chadha added.   

“Withdrawing the summons he issued is completely unconstitutional and illegal. If there is no provision for us to call a confidence motion… then why did the Governor give his consent in the first place… The Governor is bound by the aid and advice of the Council of ministers,” said Mr Chadha, who has been one of the architects of AAP’s sweeping victory in Punjab earlier this year.

In this context, he cited examples of states, including Punjab, where the ruling government has sought a trust vote, refuting the claim that this provision is not in the rulebook.  

In Delhi, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had won a majority test last month after alleging “Operation Lotus” by the BJP to bring down the AAP government.

“How can the Governor refuse a session called by the cabinet? Then democracy is over. Two days ago, the Governor gave permission for the session. When Operation Lotus started failing and the number was not completed, a call came from above asking to withdraw the permission,” Mr Kejriwal has said.



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