AAP ex-legislator stings Kejriwal over poaching Congress MLAs,stings Kejriwal over poaching Congress MLAs
AAP ex-legislator stings Kejriwal over poaching Congress MLAs
New Delhi, (IANS) In a new twist to the troubles within the AAP, an audio tape surfaced on Wednesday in which party convenor Arvind Kejriwal is purportedly heard seeking to engineer defections in the Congress to form the government in 2014 during President's Rule in the national capital.
The Aam Aadmi Party dismissed the audio tape, saying it was an attempt to defame the party.
In the tape, the authenticity of which could not ascertained, Kejriwal is allegedly heard telling former party legislator Rajesh Garg to try to break six Congress lawmakers as the party was not ready to again support the AAP to form the government in Delhi.
Garg told reporters that the conversation between him and Kejriwal took place sometime in July-August 2014. Kejriwal had resigned on February 14, 2014 after 49 days in power over the inability to pass an anti-graft bill in the Delhi assembly.
The AAP, which now rules Delhi, had won 28 seats in the 2013 elections and the Congress with eight seats had extended support to it from outside.
The Bharatiya Janata Party had emerged as the single largest party in the 2013 election winning 31 seats. Garg's associate Narendra told IANS that he (Garg) did not release the tape and had passed it on to Kumar Vishwas. He, however, denied that Vishwas leaked it.
The AAP convenor is also reportedly heard telling Garg that Manish Sisodia, now Delhi's deputy chief minister, was in touch with the Congress on the issue of forming the government.
AAP leader Preeti Sharma Menon told reporters that such tapes were not new and were also released earlier to defame the party.
The following is the transcript of the conversation issued by India TV news channel:
Rajesh Garg: Namaskar Bhai Saheb
Arvind Kejriwal: Namaskar, how are you?
Garg: I am absolutely fine sir.
Kejriwal: We are ready but they are not agreeing... I mean people who are in touch with Manish and others...
Garg: It's not like that... all 8 MLAs are ready... Ajay Maken, Surjewala and a few more from AICC are creating hindrances... saying we will be decimated completely.
Kejriwal: Then what should we do in such circumstances... their inference is delaying final decision on their part... what can we do now. I have tried to reach them several times.
Garg: In that situation, we can make an appeal that we are organising mohalla-level meetings and such opinions are coming out... If someone is ready to support us, we will stake claim to form government.
Kejriwal: No, don't do this... speak vice-versa.
Garg: I am just discussing with you.
Kejriwal: No, no... What I am saying is that we shouldn't speak now.
Kejriwal: If they are ready, we are also well prepared.
Kejriwal: Speaking at this juncture will deliver a wrong message to them... They will think that we are desperate for their support.
Garg: And what if it will be too late... The reason is they have recommended for dissolution on Tuesday and Wednesday, after this nothing will be in our hand.
Kejriwal: Yes... I agree with you but what else can we do... Meaning if you make an announcement and they don't extend support, we will stand nowhere.
Garg: Image will be spoiled.
Kejriwal: It will be tarnished... It means that announcing anything before their final decision will put us in danger.
Garg: Yes, I agree with you on this. Today I will try.
Kejriwal: You please talk to them.
Garg: We will have to play safely.
Kejriwal: Yes... sure, sure.
Garg: This is the matter... today I will try.
Kejriwal: Okay... It is likely that these six MLAs will part their ways and support BJP.
Garg: Yesterday night Hari Shankar Gupta, who is an ex-MLA.... he is friend of Ajay Maken, he is very close to Maken. Yesterday night, he gave me a call... He initiated and later I spoke to Manish bhai. Gupta informed that all eight MLAs are ready and he held meeting with them including Lovely, Haroon Yusuf... The matter is now pending before the AICC.
Garg: If they give support to BJP, they will emerge very powerfully and deliver the work and that we won't be in situation to do anything.
Garg: That MLA, Mateen Ahmed, is adamant that he will quit if this move is implemented. Pratap Singh Sahni and Devendra Yadav called me...
Kejriwal: I will tell you one thing... You try to break these six MLAs. Let them form a party and support us from outside.
Garg: Okay. I will try. I am planning.
Kejriwal: These six MLAs were parting their ways to join the BJP but they couldn't because there are three Muslims.
Garg: These three Muslims will never go with the BJP.
Kejriwal: If they can't go with BJP, why don't they support us.
Garg: Yes, I will today look into the matter.
Garg: Okay bhai sahib. Namaskar