Hours after the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) alleged that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had tried to poach its MLAs by offering money in Punjab, the state police registered a First Information Report (FIR) under sections of corruption and criminal conspiracy against the unknown persons.
The reverberations of development could be heard in the corridors of the national capital, as both the AAP and the BJP will sharpen their edges in their ongoing verbal duel for supremacy ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
Sources in the Punjab police said that a complaint was filed by AAP MLAs on Wednesday, after which the FIR was registered. A case under Section 8 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 and Sections 171-B and 120-B of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) at the Police Station State Crime, SAS Nagar.
The official spokesperson of Punjab Police said. “The Police have registered an FIR based on a prima facie basis and investigation has been transferred to the Vigilance Bureau as per standard guidelines.”
On Wednesday, the AAP leaders had said the BJP’s Operation Lotus was now in Punjab. The BJP leaders have tried to break the AAP MLAs by offering ₹25 crore each in Punjab. The party leaders also claimed that 10 of its MLAs were approached by the BJP leaders.
Delhi Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal in Delhi said, “I have been reiterating that the BJP is running Operation Lotus in every state of the country to trade MLAs. It is not possible that MLAs are joining the BJP on their own.”
“Some are being threatened with frivolous CBI-ED raids and others are offered lucrative money. Yesterday, we got to know that they are offering ₹25 crore in Punjab as well,” AAP national convenor alleges.
Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann also said that the AAP MLAs in Punjab are dedicated representatives. “Our MLAs are dedicated to the party. I want to tell the BJP that our MLAs are not going to be lured by your offers,” said Mann.
Before this, at least a dozen AAP MLAs in Delhi had made similar allegations against the BJP leaders. They had claimed to get an offer of ₹25 crore each if they broke with the party and joined the BJP. Multiple, press conferences were held by the AAP leaders regarding this claim. However, none of the MLAs ever revealed the name of the persons who approached them.