BJP trying to poach AAP councillors: Raghav Chadha

Chandigarh Municipal Corporation polls: BJP trying to poach AAP councillors, says Raghav Chadha

Chadha claimed that some BJP leaders have visited the houses of winning AAP candidates and offered them money

Raghav Chadha. Credit: PTI photo

The Aam Aadmi Party on Tuesday accused the BJP of offering money to his party's three municipal councillors from Chandigarh to poach them.

AAP leader Raghav Chadha made the allegation a day after the results of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation polls threw up a hung verdict, with AAP winning 14 of 35 wards and BJP bagging 12.

The Congress got eight seats and the Shiromani Akali Dal one.

Addressing the media here on Tuesday, Chadha accused the BJP of indulging in horse trading and claimed that some BJP leaders have contacted and even visited the houses of winning AAP candidates and offered them money.

"Two of them were offered Rs 50 lakh and one was offered Rs 75 lakh by BJP's senior leaders on Monday evening" for leaving AAP and joining the BJP, claimed Chadha without disclosing the names of the councillors.

Read | Chandigarh municipal corporation polls results 'a trailer' for Punjab polls: AAP

He said as a "precautionary measure", AAP has decided to install cameras at the residences of his party's councillors, who have also been directed to record the conversation if any BJP leader visits or contacts them.

He said they would make camera footage and call recordings public if any BJP leader approaches or contacts AAP councillors.

Chandigarh BJP president Arun Sood has dubbed Chadha's claims as “baseless and lies.”

AAP leader Chadha even claimed that some central ministers called up AAP's councillors for fixing a meeting with the Union Home Minister and the BJP president.

The AAP leader said his party would not allow the BJP to succeed in its attempt to “steal” the mandate of the people of Chandigarh.

Asked if the party would take any legal action in the matter, Chadha said they will move the state Election Commission on this issue.

He further said Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal will meet the party's municipal councillors soon.

A party needs 19 votes to have its councillor elected as Mayor.

Besides 35 councillors, the Chandigarh MP, who is an ex-officio member in the MC house, has a voting right. At present, BJP's Kiron Kher is the MP from Chandigarh.

To a question on Punjab Congress MLA Fateh Jang Bajwa joining the BJP, Chadha said the Congress party is “completely finished” in the state and more MLAs and ministers will leave the Congress in the days to come.

Earlier this month also, the AAP had accused the BJP of trying to poach its lawmakers from Punjab, with MP Bhagwant Mann claiming he was offered money and a place in the Union Cabinet if he joined the saffron party ahead of the assembly elections.

The BJP had dismissed the allegations as baseless.

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