AAP Lawmaker Joins BJP after Arvind Kejriwal's Taunt
Hours after Arvind Kejriwal derided what he called the BJP's attempts to "buy Aam Aadmi Party leaders", one of his party lawmakers in Delhi joined the ruling party. Anil Bajpayi, the AAP lawmaker from the Gandhi Nagar seat in Delhi, joined the BJP in the presence of Union Minister Vijay Goel.
"I worked with the AAP for many years. I was hurt by the lack of respect and the peculiar functioning of the party. It has detracted from its original path," Anil Bajpayi said.
The exit has hit AAP just days before voting in Delhi on May 12 for the national election. Earlier this week, AAP leader Manish Sisodia, the Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi, had alleged that seven lawmakers had been offered 10 crores to switch sides.
Earlier today, Arvind Kejriwal had hit out at Vijay Goel for saying that 14 AAP lawmakers were in touch with the BJP and ready to switch.
"Modi ji, will you topple every government run by an opposition party by buying lawmakers? Is this your definition of democracy? And from where do you bring so much money to buy MLAs? You have tried to buy our MLAs many times. Buying AAP leaders is not easy," the Delhi Chief Minister said in a tweet.
Vijay Goel had refuted AAP leader Manish Sisodia's allegation of the BJP offering Rs. 10 crores to lawmakers to switch and said AAP lawmakers wanted to quit their party out of "frustration and humiliation", so the BJP "did not need to buy them". "The lawmakers want to leave AAP because the party has strayed from its objectives," Mr. Goel claimed.
"Goyal Sahib, baat kahan phasi hai? Aap kitna de rahe ho? Woh kitna mang rahe hain.(Where are your talks (with the AAP lawmakers) stuck? How much are you paying? How much are they demanding?)" Arvind Kejriwal had tweeted.
AAP's Gopal Rai said: "As far as Bajpai is concerned, no person would say that they have taken the money and going to another party, they would be finding faults within the party. Bajpai had himself come from the Congress, so what issue did he have from the alliance talks that were going on?"
Last month, an AAP parliamentarian from Punjab, Harinder Singh Khalsa, joined the BJP after being suspended by the party.
Do you think AAP will win the elections in Delhi?
Manish Sisodia has alleged that BJP is trying to buy 7 MLAs of AAP
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Wednesday accused the BJP of indulging in horse-trading and said that it offered Rs 10 crore each to at least seven of its MLAs for joining the saffron party ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.
Speaking to the media, AAP leader and Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said: "The BJP has contacted at least seven of our MLAs and offered them Rs 10 crore to leave the party before the Lok Sabha elections. It is in touch with more MLAs, but seven of them informed us".
Sisodia said, “BJP’s actions showed AAP's government's success”.
"Delhi has a government, which is working to resolve the problems faced by the people here. So the BJP does not have any issues to contest the elections. And their false issues are not bought by the public," he said.
AAP's Delhi head Gopal Rai said that the BJP was desperate as all its seven MP were losing the Lok Sabha polls.
Delhi goes to polls in the sixth phase of Lok Sabha elections on May 12. Assembly elections in the state are also scheduled for later this year.
Sisodia said that the BJP should contest the elections on its own and on the work done by it. "I want to tell the BJP, (its President) Amit Shah and (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi, if you have courage, fight the elections on issues. But please don't try to buy the AAP MLAs," he said.
The Deputy Chief Minister also said that it will not be easy for the saffron party to buy AAP MLAs as they would inform their party about it.
"Before the MCD elections, the BJP managed to buy our MLA from Bawana, but people taught it a good lesson. So I want to tell the BJP that if it has an agenda to change the country it should focus on that." Referring to Modi's comment that 40 Trinamool Congress (TMC) MLAs in West Bengal were in touch with him, Sisodia said: "They are trying to do with AAP MLA in Delhi what they're attempting with TMC MLAs in West Bengal. The PM trying to weaken the democracy by purchasing Opposition MLAs. Does it look good? I want to ask Modi. Have some shame and respect for democracy".
Do you think so?
Daler Mehndi Joins BJP, Days After Actor Sunny Deol
Singer Daler Mehndi joined the ruling BJP today, becoming the second celebrity to join the party this week after actor Sunny Deol.
Daler Mehndi joined the ruling party in the presence of fellow singer Hans Raj Hans, who is a BJP candidate in Delhi.
It is not clear whether the singer will contest the national election.
Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari and cricketer-turned-politician Gautam Gambhir were also present at the event when Daler Mehndi joined the party.
Daler Mehndi had in 2013 joined the Congress, just before the Delhi assembly election. He had also composed and sung a campaign song for the party.
BJP continues to add more star power to the party fold as Lok Sabha elections enter the fourth phase.
A few days ago, Bollywood actor Sunny Deol joined the BJP in the presence of several Union ministers, including Nirmala Sitharaman and Piyush Goyal. The same day, singer Hans Raj Hans was named the party's candidate from the North-West Delhi constituency.
Earlier, another Bollywood actor, Urmila Matondkar joined Congress, who has been fielded from the Mumbai North.
Do you think Daler Mehndi will contest the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections?
AAP releases manifesto: Arvind Kejriwal promises to get full statehood for Delhi
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Thursday released its manifesto for the Lok Sabha Election 2019, with the party promising full statehood for the National Capital. Releasing the manifesto, Delhi Chief Minister and AAP convenor Arvind Kejriwal said his party would do everything to stop the "Modi-Shah duo" from coming to power and that the party would support any "secular mahagathbandhan" after the Lok Sabha Election.
Kejriwal said his party would try its best to get full statehood for Delhi. "We will fight our battle on the issue of getting full statehood for Delhi," he said, adding that people of Delhi were being treated as second class by the ruling BJP government at the Centre. He said if Delhi would get full statehood, the UT's police would be accountable to the state government, and people of the state, especially women would feel safe.
He said the government would also ensure 85 percent of Delhi's children would get admission in its colleges. He also promised to regularise all contractual employees. Promising to make Delhi cleaner, Kejriwal said all MCDs would come under the Delhi government if it got full statehood. He said if Delhi was a state, his government could have easily passed the Jan Lokpal bill by now. "In our manifesto, we have mentioned several examples of how many capitals in the world are separate states, and all the rights are under the elected state governments," Delhi Deputy CM Minister Manish Sisodia said.
Targeting BJP Chief Amit Shah over his remarks that the BJP government would remove all "infiltrators" except Hindus, Sikhs, and Buddhists from the country, Kejriwal said: "This proves that the BJP plans to remove all other religions except these three religions. The election of 2019, electing to save the Democracy of India, is the choice to save the country's constitution." He said today India's culture and unity were under attack and that the country could be saved only if people didn't get divided across religion and caste lines. Hitting out at Congress President Rahul Gandhi over the issue of the alliance in Delhi, Kejriwal said: "(I) want to ask Rahul Gandhi which alliance is formed on Twitter? If Modi and Shah return to power, only Gandhi will be responsible," Kejriwal said.
Is Kejriwal correct in protesting for full statehood of Delhi?
BJP fields Gautam Gambhir from East Delhi
Gautam Gambhir, the cricketer-turned-politician, is the BJP's candidate in the East Delhi constituency, the party said in a release today. Also on the list is Meenakshi Lekhi, a BJP parliamentarian, who is fielded in the New Delhi constituency.
Mr. Gambhir has replaced Maheish Girri as the party's candidate and will take on Arvinder Singh Lovely of the Congress and Atishi of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).
Ms. Lekhi is pitted against AAP's Brajesh Goel and Ajay Maken of the Congress.
On Monday, the BJP had released a list of five candidates in which it re-nominated four of its sitting lawmakers in the national capital.
Union Minister Harsh Vardhan and BJP state unit president Manoj Tiwari have been fielded in Chandni Chowk and North East Delhi seats respectively.
Former Delhi Chief Minister Saheb Singh Verma's son Parvesh Verma has been fielded in West Delhi and Ramesh Bidhuri in South Delhi.
The former India opening batsman, who retired from cricket in December after a 15-year stint, joined the party last month. "I have been influenced by the PM, his vision for the country. This is a fabulous platform for me to do something for the country," Gautam Gambhir, 37, had said after joining the party.
His social media posts with strong comments on contemporary politics and incidents had inspired talk about his joining politics. His Twitter account is full of posts on the Pulwama terror attack, in which 40 soldiers were killed by a suicide bomber of the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed.
Mr. Gambhir, a resident of Delhi's Rajinder Nagar, had campaigned for BJP leader Arun Jaitley in Amritsar in the 2014 national elections.