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. The sources said at least a dozen AAP MLAs had gone incommunicado ahead of the meeting.
“We were not able to contact some of our MLAs as they were probably stuck in traffic, but we want to assure the people of Delhi that the AAP government will not fall. I want to assure you that all the legislators would be present at the meeting,” senior party leader Saurabh Bhardwaj had told reporters outside the chief minister’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.
Four AAP MLAs who had claimed on Wednesday that they were approached by BJP leaders with an offer to switch sides said they were told that the saffron party was in touch with “20-25 MLAs” of the Kejriwal-led party.
The AAP government has also convened a special session of the Delhi Assembly on Friday over CBI, ED probes, raids targeting its ministers and the “poaching” efforts made by the BJP.
The saffron party has challenged the AAP to reveal the names of those who allegedly contacted its MLAs with an offer to switch sides and charged that the Kejriwal-led party is trying hard to divert attention from the Delhi government’s liquor “scam”.