The Punjab Police on Wednesday filed a case after the ruling Aam Aadmi Party accused the Bharatiya Janata Party of attempting to poach its MLAs, PTI reported.
The development came after state Finance Minister Harpal Singh Cheema, along with other AAP MLAs, met Director General of Police Gaurav Yadav and sought an investigation into the matter.
The police have filed a first information report under Section 8 of the Prevention of Corruption Act (taking gratification in order to influence public servant) and Sections 171B (bribery) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code.
The party alleged that the BJP offered Rs 25 crore each to at least ten legislators.
Last month, the AAP had alleged that the BJP offered Rs 20 crore each to 40 of its MLAs in Delhi to persuade them to switch sides. The Arvind Kejriwal-led party then sought a vote of confidence in the Delhi Assembly, which it won on September 1.
Kejriwal on Wednesday alleged that the BJP was now trying to buy its MLAs in Punjab. “From where do they get so many crores of rupees?” he asked on Twitter. “They must understand – we are not the Congress. It is not possible for anyone to buy us.”
Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann alleged the BJP was intoxicated with power and that it was seeking to buy MLAs where people did not vote for it. “But I want to tell the BJP – Punjabis had stopped even [ancient Macedonian ruler] Alexander in his tracks. I trust that our MLAs will remain loyal to our soil and to Punjab.”
However, BJP National General Secretary Tarun Chugh described the AAP’s allegation as the “most ridiculous joke” and demanded that the Central Bureau of Investigation should look into the matter.
“AAP is playing politics of ridicule and mimicry to divert people’s attention from the core issues that are putting a grave threat to Punjab,” he alleged, according to PTI.
The Congress’ Punjab unit asked the state government to produce evidence on its allegations of horse-trading.
“There is strong probability of AAP imploding in Punjab with MLAs feeling suffocated, disillusioned and alienated as the power is being wielded and enjoyed by outsiders,” the Congress’ state unit chief Amrinder Singh Raja Warring said.