While the Aam Aadmi Party had been claiming for the past week that the Bharatiya Janata Party had been trying to woo four of its MLAs from the assembly, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today alleged that the BJP needed 40 MLAs to topple his government and, for that purpose, has set aside Rs 800 crore. "A day after the CBI's raids, Sisodia was approached by the BJP with an offer of the chief minister's post and to betray Kejriwal. Lucky to have Manish Sisodia, who has no greed for CM's post. The AAP MLAs would rather die than get sold out. The BJP needs 40 MLAs to topple my government and it has kept Rs 800 crore for this," Kejriwal told reporters after his brief visit to Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi's memorial in Rajghat today.
Earlier, Kejriwal had claimed that he had led AAP MLAs to Gandhi's memorial in Rajghat to "pray for the failure of the BJP's Operation Lotus". The visit to Rajghat came after Arvind Kejriwal called a meeting of AAP MLAs amid poaching fears.
The AAP alleged today that 40 of its Delhi MLAs were targeted by the BJP with an offer of Rs 20 crore each to switch sides, even as all the 62 of its legislators were accounted for during a meeting at Arvind Kejriwal's residence. During the meeting, 12 AAP MLAs said that they had been contacted by someone from the BJP to break away from the AAP. "All MLAs have said they will stay with the party till our last breath," said AAP MLA Saurabh Bharadwaj.
The meeting that concluded within minutes was physically attended by 53 MLAs, including Kejriwal. Seven MLAs were out of the station while Minister Satyendar Jain is in jail, said AAP Chief Spokesperson Bhardwaj. Okhla MLA Amanatullah Khan had joined the meeting over the phone, he added.
Meanwhile, BJP leaders have dismissed the AAP's "poaching" claim, terming it as a "public stunt".
The AAP government has convened a special session of the Delhi assembly tomorrow to cover the issues of CBI and ED investigations into some ministers of the Delhi government, raids targeting them and the 'poaching' efforts made by the BJP.