Atishi Claims Offer To Join BJP, Says 4 More AAP Leaders To Be Arrested

Atishi Claims Offer To Join BJP, Says 4 More AAP Leaders To Be Arrested

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Four more senior leaders of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) are set to be arrested over the next two months, Delhi minister Atishi alleged today, accusing the BJP of using central agencies in its attempt to crush AAP. The ruling party, she alleged, plans to arrest her, Delhi minister Saurabh Bharadwaj, AAP MP Raghav Chadha and party MLA Durgesh Pathak.

“The BJP has approached me through someone very close. They have asked me to join the BJP and said this will save my political career. They have threatened that if I don’t switch over, ED (Enforcement Directorate) will arrest me within a month,” she told the media.

She said the person who approached her on behalf of the BJP had said that the ruling party had “made up its mind on crushing everyone in AAP”

“First, they put everyone in AAP’s leadership in jail. Satyendra Jain, Manish Sisodia, Sanjay Singh and now Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal have been arrested. The BJP’s plan is to arrest four more AAP leaders in the next two months. They will arrest me, Saurabh Bharadwaj, Durgesh Pathak and Raghav Chadha,” she said.

The BJP, Ms Atishi said, had thought that the party would splinter after Arvind Kejriwal’s arrest. “But after the rally in Ramlila Maidan Sunday, the BJP thinks the arrest of four leaders was not enough,” she said.

The Delhi minister claimed that she had received information that ED may raid her and her relatives’ homes in the coming days. “We are Arvind Kejriwal’s soldiers, we won’t be cowed down by BJP’s threats.”

Ms Atishi referred to the ED’s submission in court that Mr Kejriwal had said AAP’s former communication boss Vijay Nair reported to her and Mr Bharadwaj.

“This information is already in ED’s and CBI’s chargesheets. It is possible that ED took our names so that they proceed on arresting the second line of AAP leadership,” she said.

The BJP described the AAP leader’s allegations as “baseless”. Party leader RP Singh said, “I too can say that Saurabh Bharadwaj called me up and requested me to protect them from Arvind Kejriwal who wants to put them behind bars and make Sunita Kejriwal the Chief Minister. This is their internal tussle, which is coming out again and again in different forms.”

“The truth is that action will be taken against all whose names are involved in the matter. It is clear that the fight for the CM post has begun in AAP. Saurabh Bharadwaj and Atishi are on one side and Sunita Kejriwal and Arvind Kejriwal are on the other,” he alleged, according to news agency ANI.

Ms Atishi’s allegations and the BJP’s counter are the latest in the heated exchanges between AAP and BJP leaders in the wake of Mr Kejriwal’s arrest in a money laundering related to Delhi’s now-scrapped liquor policy. The Chief Minister has been remanded in judicial custody till April 15 and moved to Delhi’s Tihar jail. The ED has said he is not cooperating in the probe.

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