Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday said the Aam Aadmi Party’s vote share in Gujarat has increased by 4 per cent after CBI raids against his deputy Manish Sisodia. This vote share will increase by 6 per cent if he is arrested, the AAP national convener said during a discussion on the confidence motion in the Delhi Assembly.
“The CBI raided Sisodia, went to his village and searched his bank locker. CBI people said they did not find anything against him but are under pressure to arrest him," Kejriwal claimed. The prime minister has given a “certificate of honesty", he said.
“The AAP’s vote share has increased by 4 per cent in Gujarat after CBI raids against Sisodia. It will increase by 6 per cent if he’s arrested," the chief minister said. Attacking the BJP, he said the saffron party leaders tried to buy AAP MLAs but none of his legislators accepted their offer. “Absolutely corrupt party lacks educated people while ‘hardcore honest’ party has those with good education, genuine IIT degrees," he said in a veiled dig at the BJP. “They are spending Rs 20-50 crore to buy MLAs. Am I doing anything wrong if I want to build schools and hospitals," he asked. The AAP government had brought in a confidence motion on Monday to show that the BJP’s ‘Operation Lotus’ had failed in Delhi.
Meanwhile, AAP’s Atishi sought time from President Droupadi Murmu to discuss the issue. “I have sought time with the custodian of democracy of India - the Hon’ble President. A delegation of
@AamAadmiParty MLAs wants to meet her to discuss ‘Operation Lotus’ - the attempts of BJP to destabilise state governments across the country," she said.
BJP’s MLAs Marshalled Out of Assembly as Kejriwal Continues Attack
Three BJP MLAs were on Thursday marshalled out of the Delhi Assembly for the entire session following an argument with Deputy Speaker Rakhi Birla who did not heed their demand to take up their calling attention notices before a discussion on the no-confidence motion. The rest of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLAs walked out of the House soon after. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government had brought in the no-confidence motion on Monday to show that the alleged “Operation Lotus" of the BJP had failed in Delhi. Birla said no calling attention notice will be taken up till the no-confidence motion is debated and voted on.
Opposing it, Leader of Opposition Ramvir Singh Bidhuri said there are a lot of issues to be discussed in the assembly — “there is shortage of drinking water, Delhi is the world’s most polluted capital…there are health-related problems". He said there was no need to enact a “drama" to prove Arvind Kejriwal enjoys the support of his MLAs. Birla said no-confidence motion is important considering “whatever has happened in opposition-ruled states". All issues of the opposition will be taken up once the no-confidence motion process is completed, she said. When opposition members did not relent, Birla ordered that BJP MLAs Vijender Gupta, Abhay Verma and Mohan Singh Bisht be marshalled out. The rest of the BJP MLAs walked out of the Assembly soon after. They have said the party will protest outside the CM’s house.
Meanwhile, the Delhi Assembly on Thursday passed with voice vote and vote division the confidence motion tabled by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to “prove" that the BJP’s ‘Operation Lotus’ in the capital had failed. All AAP MLAs present in the House voted in favour of the motion.
Trying to project the AAP as an alternative to the BJP, Kejriwal said there are only two parties at the national level at present — ‘Kattar Imandar (hardcore honest) party and Kattar Beimaan (hardcore corrupt) party’.
Complaint to CBI and AAP’s Dharna
The CBI on Wednesday had accepted a complaint against the BJP’s Operation Lotus’ after the AAP MLAs sat on a dharna outside the agency headquarters here for almost two hours, the party legislators had said. Amid the agitation, some CBI officials took AAP’s chief whip in Delhi Assembly Dilip K Pandey and Kalkaji MLA Atishi inside the agency premises to lodge their complaint.
“We finally lodged the complaint and got a receipt as well. But, it is very unfortunate that 10 elected representatives of people were made to wait for almost two hours on the road and none of the officials met us," Atishi told reporters. It seems the CBI gets scared when there is a complaint against the BJP, she charged.
In the complaint, we have said that BJP has purchased 277 MLAs across the country so far spending an estimated Rs 6,300 crore and there were also preparations of the BJP to buy 40 MLAs of AAP in Delhi. Hence, the CBI should conduct a probe, she added. Pandey alleged that none of the CBI officials cared to understand from AAP MLAs how the BJP has murdered democrary and destablised the other parties’ governments by buying MLAs.
Yet, we hope that the CBI will immediately start an investigation into our complaint and bring the truth of BJP’s Operation Lotus out before the country. We will follow it up daily and ask them about the progress made, the Timarpur MLA had added.
A delegation of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) sat on a dharna outside the CBI headquarters after it went to meet agency director Subodh Kumar Jaiswal to demand a probe into alleged attempts to topple the Delhi government but was not allowed entry. The AAP had earlier in the day said it would meet Jaiswal to demand a probe into the alleged attempts to unseat non-BJP governments in various states by the saffron party by poaching legislators under ‘Operation Lotus’.
The 10-member delegation of AAP MLAs reached the CBI headquarters to meet its director at 3 pm even though his office had not given any response to their request for the meeting. “This proves that the CBI functions at the behest of the BJP…I had also requested an appointment with the CBI director but I am yet to get any response," AAP Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh had told reporters after he joined the protest.
Singh had termed as unfortunate the CBI’s refusal to allow AAP legislators to meet the agency director and lodge a complaint, saying even an ordinary police station receives complaints from the people when they reach there. “But here, elected MLAs of Delhi who want to lodge a complaint against the BJP’s Operation Lotus in Delhi have been made to stand outside the CBI headquarters for an hour," he had charged.
“The CBI must probe the toppling of governments by the BJP and ascertain the source of the money being used for buying MLAs under Operation Lotus," he had demanded.
Atishi, who was part of the 10-member delegation, said the party had earlier sent an e-mail to the Jaiswal’s office seeking an appointment with him but it was yet to get a response. “We have come here and are demanding that time be given to us (to meet the CBI director) because ‘Operation Lotus’ is a very important issue. The BJP has spent Rs 6,300 crore on ‘Operation Lotus’. Hence, a CBI investigation should be conducted (into the matter) and the source of this money should be ascertained," Atishi had told reporters.
With PTI inputs
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