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BJP trying to topple Punjab govt through ‘tried and tested Operation Lotus’: AAP

BJP trying to topple Punjab govt through 'tried and tested Operation Lotus': AAP

Chandigarh, Sep 13 (SocialNews.XYZ) Amid allegations of an 'extortion' conversation featuring its minister, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) party in Punjab on Tuesday launched an attack on the BJP, accusing it of trying to topple its government in Punjab through its 'tried and tested Operation Lotus'.

Ridiculing the allegations, Opposition parties said "the government appears to be trying to divert public attention from its own scams and failures." The Congress even "smells revolt brewing within AAP."


Addressing the media here, Finance Minister Harpal Singh Cheema said under 'Operation Lotus' many leaders and agents of the BJP from Delhi and Punjab have approached at least 10 AAP MLAs on phone in the past seven days and offered Rs 25 crore to each to quit AAP and join the BJP.

He said they were offering to arrange meetings of AAP MLAs with Babu-ji (a top BJP leader) and also promised them Cabinet ministerial ranks after the BJP form the government in the state.

Lambasting the Modi government, Cheema said the BJP "is working as a serial killer in Punjab, and anti-national powers have joined forces to overthrow the AAP government in Punjab as they are unable to digest the dynamic functioning of Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann-led government in the state."

"After using central investigation agencies against AAP leaders in Delhi and offering money to MLAs in Delhi, now the BJP is attempting to buy MLAs in Punjab," Cheema said.

He said the BJP "is a serial killer which is bringing down the governments in every state one by one by coercing opposition party leaders with agencies and money. The next target in this murder of democracy under 'Operation Lotus' is Punjab."

"Wherever the BJP loses, these people form their government by breaking MLAs with help of the CBI, the ED and money. They did it in Goa, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Arunachal Pradesh. Now, they are doing it in Punjab," Cheema said.

Replying to a media query, the minister said the Punjab government will launch an investigation and legal action will be initiated into the matter.

Recently, the BJP attempted to topple the AAP government in Delhi, which was elected by the people of Delhi with a huge majority.

He said the BJP is only afraid of Arvind Kejriwal, so they aim to stop Kejriwal by any means. "BJP is unnerved by the growing popularity of Kejriwal across the country. This is why they raided Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia's residence in Delhi and also raided the AAP office in Gujarat to intimidate AAP leaders."

"Despite all efforts in Delhi, they could not break even one of our MLAs, now these people have brought their shoplifting to Punjab, but I am confident their Operations Lotus will fall flat here too," the Punjab Cabinet Minister said.

Cheema said the BJP leaders and their agents are offering to MLAs that if one MLA comes alone, he will get Rs 25 crore and if they bring other MLAs along with them, they will get Rs 50 to 70 crore.

Launching a fierce attack for denying financial aid to Punjab, the Finance Minister said the Modi government doesn't even give a single rupee to assist Punjab financially but they have Rs 1,375 crore "black money to buy the MLAs of Punjab".

Raising serious questions, Cheema said, "From where this Rs 1,375 crore came and where is the money hidden?

"Will the CBI and the ED show courage to investigate this big scam? BJP has kept over Rs 2,200 crore, including Rs 1,375 crore to buy Punjab MLAs and Rs 800 crore for Delhi MLAs," Cheema added.

AAP legislators Manjit Bilaspur, Sheetal Angural, Raman Arora, Labh Singh Ugoke and Rupinder Happy, among others, were present with Cheema at the media interaction.

Responding to the AAP's allegations, BJP leader Manjinder Singh Sirsa said, "The shoot-and-scoot tactics of Punjab leaders are planned by Arvind Kejriwal."

"Aam Aadmi Party leaders keep naming Operation Lotus in every media interaction to hide their scams and failure. But neither Kejriwal nor Harpal Cheema can name the BJP leader who offered them money!" Sirsa added.

Punjab Congress chief Amarinder Singh Raja Warring ridiculed the allegations levelled by AAP.

He said no doubt "the BJP is quite capable of doing that and has a history of poaching Opposition MLAs and destabilizing the governments, buying MLAs and stealing popular mandate, but in this case the AAP appears to be trying to divert public attention from its own failures."

"Or maybe there is some revolt brewing within the AAP that MLAs are feeling restless and the party leadership is trying to pre-empt any such move," Warring added.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) swept victory in the Assembly elections in Punjab in February by trouncing the traditional players that ruled the state for over seven decades, and won 92 out of the 117 Assembly seats.

AAP in Punjab is currently facing midst allegations of an 'extortion' conversation featuring its minister.

An audio clip of a purported 'extortion' conversation allegedly between Cabinet Minister Fauja Singh Sarari and his aide Tarsem Lal Kapoor caught the attention of Opposition parties, including the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), which demanded a CBI probe into the matter.

The minister and his aide can be heard discussing ways to extort money from transporters and officials.

Sarari, who holds the Welfare, Food Processing and Horticulture departments, has denied the allegations and filed a police complaint.

Demanding a CBI inquiry into the alleged extortion tape, SAD leader Bikram Singh Majithia said the minister was caught discussing a plan to trap some officials and extort money from them.

"The OSD (aide) has stated on record that the audio tape is genuine and now it is up to the government to hand over the tape as well as the entire set of allegations against Sarari to the CBI so that they can be probed thoroughly," Majithia said.

Source: IANS

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BJP trying to topple Punjab govt through 'tried and tested Operation Lotus': AAP

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