Delhi Liquor Scam Updates: A total of 53 AAP MLAs out of 62 attended a meeting convened by party supremo and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday to discuss alleged poaching attempts by the BJP, sources said. The meeting that was scheduled to begin at 11 am was concluded within a few minutes, they said, adding that all the 62 legislators of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Delhi were contacted ahead of the meeting at Kejriwal’s residence.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders have dismissed the AAP’s “poaching" claim, terming it a “public stunt" by the Kejriwal-led party. BJP MP Manoj Tiwari said the AAP is trying to divert people’s attention and questioned Kejriwal’s “silence" over the Delhi excise policy.
The saffron party is set to hold protests across 19 places in Delhi today against the excise policy scam. Leaders such as Adesh Gupta, Gautam Gambhir and Manoj Tiwari will protest at various locations.
The CBI currently probing alleged irregularities in implementation of Kejriwal government’s new excise police has named Sisodia who holds Excise portfolio, as one of the accused in its FIR. The agency had also conducted raid at the Deputy CM’s residence last Saturday.
Here are the latest updates in Delhi liquor scam case:
• The BJP on Thursday claimed that the AAP leaders’ visit to Raj Ghat was part of their theatrics to divert people’s attention from the controversy surrounding the liquor policy and said its workers will sprinkle ‘Ganga Jal’ on Mahatma Gandhi’s memorial to “purify" it.
• After a meeting of the AAP legislators at his residence earlier in the day, Kejriwal, along with his MLAs, went to Raj Ghat to pray for the failure of the BJP’s “Operation Lotus". He said people have elected a “hardcore honest" government in Delhi, which will not betray them.
• AAP MLA Saurabh Bharadwaj said BJP, out of nervousness, claimed some MLAs are not in touch with AAP. “53 MLAs were present. Speaker is out of country. Manish is out of the city," he said.
• AAP is in touch with all of its MLAs. While 53 reached CM’s residence for the meeting, some were out of town, and others joined via videoconferencing.
• Amanatullah Khan and Dinesh Mohaniya have not reached CM Kejriwal’s residence.
• These MLAs are not present in Delhi today: Ram Niwas Goel, Gulab Matiala, Vinay Mishra, Shiv Charan Goel, Manish Sisodia. Satyender Jain is in jail over a money laundering case.
• The number of MLAs who have reached CM Kejriwal’s residence is 53 as of 11.30 a.m.
• “Yesterday message was communicated and the MLAs with whom contact could not be established will be done and all MLAs will be present in the meeting," AAP MLA Dilip Pandey said ahead of the meeting.
• 51 MLAs have reached Kejriwal’s residence as of 11.20 a.m.
• The political slugfest in Delhi is likely to intensify further as AAP MLAs are scheduled to meet at Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s residence here at 11 am on Thursday to discuss alleged poaching attempts by the BJP. Sources in the party said all the legislators have been called for the meeting, adding that some of them could not be contacted.
• The Delhi Assembly has issued a notification for holding a special session. The assembly session is scheduled to be held from 11 am on August 26, according to a document issued by the Delhi Assembly on Wednesday.
• A fresh face-off between the Kejriwal-led party and the BJP intensified after the AAP’s national spokesperson and Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh said his party’s MLAs — Ajay Dutt, Sanjeev Jha, Somnath Bharati and Kuldeep Kumar — have been approached by leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) with whom they have “friendly relations".
• In a resolution passed at AAP’s political affairs committee meeting, the party also appealed to the prime minister to spend his time “addressing people’s problems like price rise and unemployment", instead of making efforts to bring down other parties’ governments in the country.
• After AAP’s press conference to expose ‘Operation Lotus’, Kejriwal termed his party legislators’ claim a very serious matter and convened a meeting of the AAP’s 11-member political affairs committee (PAC), which condemned the BJP’s efforts to topple the Delhi government. The meeting of the AAP’s highest decision making body, chaired by Kejriwal, noted that the BJP has offered crores of rupees to poach other parties’ MLAs and demanded that the saffron party disclose the sources of the money that it has been spending to topple other parties’ governments in various states since it came to power at the Centre in 2014.
• The Congress also slammed the AAP government for alleged irregularities in the Delhi excise policy, and hit out at Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his deputy Manish Sisodia, saying both of them should get Bharat Ratna if there is a new category for corruption.
• The AAP on Wednesday accused the BJP of making efforts to topple Delhi government, claiming that the saffron party approached its four MLAs with an “offer of Rs 20 crore to switch sides or else face the CBI and ED". The BJP countered the charges and demanded that the AAP disclose the names of those who approached their legislators.
Read all the Latest Politics News and Breaking News here