AAP president for Punjab Bhagwant Mann claimed on Sunday that a senior BJP leader offered him money and a berth in the Union Cabinet to join their party ahead of the state Assembly polls next year.
Telling mediapersons in Chandigarh that he could not be bought, Mann slammed the saffron party for “horse-trading”. Accusing the BJP of frequently poaching leaders from other parties, he gave examples of Goa, West Bengal, and Madhya Pradesh.
The BJP has trashed the charges and asked Mann to publicly reveal the name of the leader. “I challenge Mr Mann to reveal the name of the BJP leader so that the truth is out in front of the people but he won’t do so, because it’s AAP’s nature to make false allegations and then hide. Arvind Kejriwal did the same, he would apologise after defamation cases were filed against him,” BJP’s Punjab General Secretary Subhash Sharma was reported as saying.
According to Mann, he got a call four days ago and was asked: “Mr Mann, tell me what do you want to join the BJP? Do you want money?”
The Sangrur MP further said the leader suggested that since he was the only AAP MP, the anti-defection law doesn’t apply to him, and that he would be made a cabinet minister in the Union government. “Tell me what portfolio you’d like,” Mann quoted the leader as saying.
“I told him I am on a mission, not on commission. There’s no money that can buy Bhagwant Mann,” he said, adding that he left a well-paying job to work for AAP. “The BJP is trying to buy the faith people have put on me and our party workers,” he alleged.
Mann has said he would disclose the name of the BJP leader at “the right time”.