The Aam Aadmi Party today took on the Narendra Modi-led union government, accusing it of trying to topple the Delhi government "by hook or crook". The BJP is using central investigation agencies against its leaders, the party claimed. Five senior AAP leaders in a press conference today slammed the BJP for allegedly trying to lure AAP MLAs with cash and threats. The BJP has denied the charge and accused AAP of trying to "deviate and deflect" from questions around alleged corruption in the liquor policy for which Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia was recently raided by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
AAP's national spokesperson and Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh claimed he would "expose" how the PM Modi-led government is using central agencies to bring down the government in the national capital.
"Efforts to break the MLAs of Delhi have begun," he said, adding that the BJP tried a 'Shinde' on Manish Sisodia but the attempt failed.
He claimed BJP members threaten AAP MLAs. "They say take our offer of Rs 20 crore or face CBI cases like Sisodia," he said.
Reacting to the charges by AAP, BJP spokesperson Shehzad Poonawalla said Mr Kejriwal's party keeps releasing "trailers" but the "film" never arrives. "They complain that their party is being broken apart, that they have audio clips on the alleged BJP offer but wouldn't release it and will wait for the 'right time'. They will keep doing this," he said, calling it a smokescreen to deflect from corruption charges against Delhi ministers.
Mr Singh said the legislators -- Ajay Dutt, Sanjeev Jha, Somnath Bharati, and Kuldeep Kumar -- have been approached by leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) with whom they have "friendly relations".
"They have been offered Rs 20 crore each if they join the party and Rs 25 crore if they bring other MLAs along with them," Mr Singh said.
The four other AAP MLAs who were present at the press conference narrated how they were allegedly approached by BJP leaders.
"They said they know cases against Sisodia are fake, but the senior leaders have decided to bring down the AAP. BJP's leaders have been given the duty of getting in AAP leaders," Somnath Bharati said.
"A BJP leader told me that no matter what, we will bring down the Delhi government," he added.
Sanjay Singh said AAP MLAs and Mr Sisodia are turning "operation lotus" into "operation 'bogus".
All the MLAs narrated similar stories of being offered Rs 20-25 crore to switch sides and bring along fellow MLAs.
Challenging PM Modi, Sanjay Singh said, "You must have threatened and brought down governments in many states, but this is Delhi. People have chosen Kejriwal here thrice".
Taking to Twitter, Delhi Chief Minister and AAP's national convenor Arvind Kejriwal said it is "a very serious matter" and a meeting of the party's Political Affairs Committee (PAC) has been convened at his residence at 4 pm to "take stock of the situation and chalk out further strategy".
Manish Sisodia also warned the BJP-led Centre against making efforts to "poach" AAP MLAs by misusing the CBI and offering money, and said they will "give up" their lives but will not betray their party as they are the "soldiers" of Arvind Kejriwal and followers of freedom fighter Bhagat Singh.
"After they failed to break me, they have started conspiring to make other AAP MLAs break away (from the party) by offering Rs 20 crore to each of them, threatening them of raids," the Deputy Chief Minister said in a tweet in Hindi.
"...they (AAP MLAs) are the soldiers of Arvind Kejriwal and followers of Bhagat Singh," he said, adding, "They will sacrifice their lives but will not betray (the party). Your ED-CBI is of no use in front of them."