Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia today attacked the BJP leadership for its alleged attempts to buy out MLAs from Telangana Chief Minister KCR's party and demanded the arrest of Union Home Minister Amit Shah, if he is found to be involved.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader claimed that poaching attempts were made by the BJP earlier in Delhi, Punjab and eight other states. He said a "dirty game" played by the BJP has once again come to the fore, this time in Telangana.
Referring to an audio clip bearing a conversation between three men who were allegedly trying to bribe some Telangana Rashtra Samithi (recently renamed as Bharat Rashtra Samithi) MLAs to switch to the BJP and which reportedly had a reference to one "Shah ji", Mr Sisodia said: "If 'Shah ji' is indeed Union Home Minister Amit Shah, then he should be arrested and interrogated. Because if a broker is caught buying an MLA and the name of the Home Minister of the country features in it, then it is very dangerous for the entire country."
Last Wednesday, three men were detained in Telangana for allegedly trying to poach the MLAs of Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao's party. The men walked out free after a court turned down a police plea, seeking their custody.
The accused were arrested from a farmhouse near Hyderabad. Police said they were caught in the act of bribing four MLAs of TRS to switch to the BJP.
Referring to BJP's alleged 'Operation Lotus' in Telangana, Mr Sisodia, while addressing the media today, said: "On 27th October, some of you had reported that there was a raid in Cyberabad and three pimps were caught with Rs 100 crore. There are photographs of those touts too. These brokers were caught running BJP's Operation Lotus. These three brokers are Ramchandra Bharti, Simaiah and Nand Kumar."
Referring to an audio recording of reported conversations between the three arrested men and some of the MLAs from TRS, Mr Sisodia said: "On October 28, the audio of their entire conversation was out. These people, especially Bharti, were trying to make those MLAs switch from TRS to BJP."
In August this year, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and the AAP leadership had accused the BJP of offering ₹ 20 crore to its MLAs to topple its government in Delhi. The claims were refuted by the BJP.
Referring to the BJP's alleged attempt to poach AAP's Delhi MLAs, Mr Sisodia cited a second audio recording today, which he claimed had some of the "touts" talking about the botched operation in Delhi.
"Today a new audio has surfaced. This is also a conversation between the MLAs of Telangana and the touts of Operation Lotus. In this audio, one of the touts reveals that they did try it in Delhi, too. He says that they tried to make 43 AAP MLAs in Delhi switch to the BJP," Mr Sisodia claimed.
"The question is that you have arranged Rs 1,075 crore to buy these MLAs. Whose money is this and where did it come from?" he asked. Demanding an inquiry into this entire episode Mr Sisodia said that the Enforcement Directorate (ED) should be roped in to track the money trail.
Referring to the audio clips, that reportedly had references to "BL" and "Shah ji", Mr Sisodia said one needs to know whether "Shah ji" is a reference to the Union Home Minister Amit Shah and "BL" is a reference to BJP leader BL Santosh.