Punjab Aam Aadmi Party president Bhagwant Mann on Sunday claimed a senior BJP leader ”offered him money” and a place in the Union Cabinet to join the saffron party ahead of the state assembly polls next year.
Addressing the media here, the Sangrur MP also claimed that the BJP was calling up AAP MLAs to woo them.
The two-time MP asserted that he could not be bought with money or anything else as he accused the BJP of doing ”politics of manipulations”.
There was no immediate reaction from the BJP on the allegations.
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Without naming anyone, Mann claimed that the senior BJP leader contacted him four days ago and asked him, ”Mann sahab, what would you take to join the BJP?” He alleged that he was also asked ”whether you need money”.
The AAP leader further claimed he was told that if he joined the BJP, he would be made a Union cabinet minister with the portfolio of his choice.
Mann said that he was told that since he was a lone MP of the AAP, the anti-defection law cannot apply, he said.
”I told him (BJP leader) that I am on a mission and not on commission,” said Mann.
He said he told the BJP leader that there might be others ”whom you could buy”. Mann said he could not be bought with money or anything else.
When asked to name the BJP leader, he said he would disclose it when the time comes.
He asked the BJP to remove this misunderstanding that he could be bought.
The AAP leader claimed the BJP has no base in Punjab.
He said that the BJP leaders were not being allowed to enter villages and cities for holding any meetings or rallies over farm laws that were repealed by the government last week.
Mann alleged that the BJP knew the politics of ”horse trading”.
”They did this in Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Goa and Meghalaya and now they think this can be done in Punjab too,” he said.
He further said that they were trying to woo him with such offers as they knew no central agencies like Enforcement Directorate, Income Tax and CBI could find anything against him.
Replying to a question on Punjab Congress chief Navjot Sidhu who joined a sit-in protest of Delhi guest teachers demanding regularisation of their jobs outside Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s residence, Mann said the AAP, after coming to power in the national capital, raised the salary of guest teachers to Rs 36,000.
He said the guest teachers were getting Rs 6,000 during the Sheila Dikshit-led Congress government.
The AAP leader said the Delhi Vidhan Sabha had even passed a bill to regularise their services in 2017 but the Delhi Lieutenant Governor allegedly rejected it.
He said the AAP is making promises to the people of Punjab as it enjoys full statehood and whatever decision is taken by the Vidhan Sabha is final.
Mann further said that not many of the protesters who were joined by Sidhu were teachers.
Replying to a question, he said that the Charanjit Singh Channi government should give an account of its promises made to the people before 2017.
Replying to a question on rival parties targeting Kejriwal’s visits to Punjab, Mann said that there is no ban on the AAP national convener from coming here. Actually, the rival parties are scared of Kejriwal, he claimed.
To a question on the chief ministerial face, Mann said that the AAP would announce its CM face for the Punjab assembly polls before other political parties do.