AAP lawmaker says BJP tried to buy him off, BJP refutes charge

An Aam Aadmi Party legislator in Delhi Monday alleged he was approached by BJP leaders, including prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, in an attempt to buy him off for Rs.20 crore. BJP leader Arun Jaitley rubbished the claim.

Madan Lal, assembly member from Kasturba Nagar, claimed he was first approached Dec 7, a day before the Delhi assembly election results were announced.

He, however, said he has no proof to back his allegations.

Lal told media persons here that just past midnight that day he received a call from an "unknown number" and the person who spoke to him said he would make him talk to a "big person" and mentioned Arun Jaitley's name.

"I told him to shut up and put down the phone," Lal said.

Recalling a second instance, Lal said he was approached by two people on behalf of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi a few days ago.

"Two people came to my house to meet me. I asked what they want, and they told me 'We are Modi's people'. I remember the name of one person - Sanjay Singh. Both were in their 40s. I asked them what was the work they had come to me for. They told me to wean away nine AAP lawmakers and form a party and align with the BJP," Lal said.

Lal, an advocate by profession, claimed he was told that if he formed a government with the breakaway legislators in alliance with the BJP and wanted to be chief minister, he would be paid Rs.20 crore.

The AAP legislators who wanted to be cabinet ministers would be paid Rs.10 crore each. Lal said he informed the party high command each time he was approached.

In the December 2013 assembly elections, the AAP won 28 seats in the 70-member Delhi assembly and formed the government with outside support of the Congress that won eight seats.

Janata Dal-United MLA Shoaib Iqbal and an Independent also extended support to the AAP in the assembly.

Of the AAP's 28 lawmakers, one was elected speaker and another MLA - Vinod Kumar Binny - was later expelled for anti-party activities.

Lal also refuted media reports on his links with Binny.

"I am maintaining my full support to the party. I have no links with him (Binny)," he said.

He also said that during the two-day AAP executive meeting at the Constitution Club here, BJP leaders tried to manipulate the AAP legislators.

Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley rubbished Lal's claim.

In a tweet, Jaitley said: "Rubbish claims by AAP. AAP's alternative politics includes a fundamental right to falsehood and lies."

Delhi BJP president Harsh Vardhan said the fact that Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal misled the people of Delhi was now out in the open.

"By doing this, they are just trying to divert the attention of the people. They will not be successful in doing so as they have already lost the faith the people had put in them," he said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the Congress, which is extending outside support to the AAP government, said the party was not involved in any way and questions should be put to those concerned.

"There is no enemy, there is no friend in this context. Just let the BJP respond to it," Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath said.

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