Delhi chief minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) national convener Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday alleged that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) offered to “spare” state minister Satyender Jain and deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia if his party did not contest the Gujarat elections
The BJP rejected the allegation, calling Kejriwal’s statement “a blatant lie”.
Elections to the 182-member Gujarat assembly are to be held in two phases — December 1 and 5 — with results on December 8.
“After Manish Sisodia rejected their offer to join the BJP and become Delhi CM, they approached me and said that if you don’t contest Gujarat elections, Satyender Jain will be released and Sisodia will also not be arrested,” Kejriwal said at a townhall event held by television news channel NDTV. He did not say who made the offer or give any other specifics.
Rejecting the AAP convener’s allegations, BJP spokesperson Syed Zafar Islam said: “This is a blatant lie. It is merely a statement to mislead people and malign the image of the BJP. He has misled the people of Delhi and the nation. He used Anna Hazare to come to power and later left him. He can mislead anyone to grab power.”
Jain, who was in charge of Delhi health ministry, was arrested on May 30 under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). He has denied the allegations in court, and the AAP has said the case is part of a ploy by the BJP to inhibit the Delhi government’s work.
Sisodia, meanwhile, is one of the accused people in a charge sheet filed by the CBI as part of its probe against Delhi’s 2021-22 excise policy. The ED, too, is probing the now-scrapped liquor regime. The deputy CM has denied the allegations, also claiming earlier that he was asked to leave the AAP when he arrived at the CBI office for questioning.
On Saturday, Kejriwal did not provide any specific proof to back his claim when asked. He said that a month ago also, he was asked to give evidence when he alleged that the BJP was trying to topple the Delhi government by offering AAP MLAs “ ₹20-25 crore” and the recent political development in Telangana validated his stand. On Thursday, Telangana chief minister K Chandrashekar Rao accused the BJP of trying to topple democratically elected governments in four non-BJP-ruled states, including Delhi, releasing purported evidence from a sting operation carried out by the state police. The BJP denied the allegation.