- Anil Bajpayi, from the Gandhi Nagar seat in Delhi, joined the BJP
- Hurt by lack of respect and peculiar functioning of the AAP: Anil Bajpayi
- The exit has hit AAP just days before voting in Delhi on May 12
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 crore 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 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.
All seven Lok Sabha seats in Delhi will vote in a single phase in the sixth round in the seven-phase election that ends on May 19. The results will be declared on May 23.