Days after Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) alleged that the BJP offered money to its MLAs to topple Punjab government, Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Monday said a special session of the state Assembly is being convened on September 22 to seek a trust vote.
“You must have heard how they tried to contact our MLAs and tried to offer money and other allurements in an attempt to topple the government which was elected with a huge mandate,” Mann, who is in Germany, said in a video message in Punjabi.
“We are summoning a special session of Punjab Assembly on September 22 in which we will show how elected MLAs are determined to realise the dream of making the state vibrant…We will bring a trust vote in that session,” he added.
The AAP had earlier accused the saffron party of trying to bring down the Bhagwant Mann government by trying to break away MLAs through “cash inducements and threats”.
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Punjab’s finance minister Harpal Singh Cheema alleged that the BJP was using central agencies as well as money power to woo the AAP MLAs as part of its ‘Operation Lotus’, which in the past it has tried in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Goa, Delhi, and Rajasthan.
“Offers of up to Rs 25 crore have been made to our MLAs to break away from AAP. They have been told that ‘bade bau ji se milwayenge’. These MLAs have also been offered big posts. They were told that if you get more MLAs along, you would be given up to Rs 75 crore,” said Cheema.
The AAP registered a landslide victory in the Punjab Assembly elections held earlier this year, winning 92 out of total 117 seats.
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Punjab Police on Wednesday registered a First Information Report (FIR) to probe into AAP allegations that the BJP has tried to bribe its MLAs. The FIR has been registered under 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. Official Spokesperson of Punjab Police had said that the Police have registered an FIR based on prima facie basis and investigation has been transferred to the Vigilance Bureau as per standard guidelines.
Last month, the AAP government, which enjoys majority in Delhi, brought a trust vote in the Delhi Assembly, alleging that the BJP’s plan to topple Arvind Kejriwal government failed. Kejriwal had alleged that 12 of his MLAs in Delhi were approached with Rs 20 crore each by BJP.
(With PTI inputs)
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