AAP accuses BJP of trying to poach its Delhi MLAs

Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Admi Party on Wednesday accused the Bharatiya Janata Party of seeking to lure its legislators in Delhi into the BJP fold in an effort to form the state government through the back door.

"BJP tries to lure opposition MLAs unethically. AAP MLAs refuse," the party tweeted.

This came after AAP MLA from Rohini Rajesh Garg alleged that he was approached by the BJP thrice in the last three days to leave the party.

"On June 15, when we were holding a dharna against government's drive against e-rickshaws, a man approached me and asked me to join BJP. The next day, another man claiming to be an official of a leading spices company contacted me to join the party.

"On 17 June, again an old man came to my office and wanted to speak to me in private. He asked me to join BJP. These conversations were recorded by a television channel," Garg said.

"That the BJP can fall to such level is not at all surprising," he said.

In an interview to a television channel last week, party chief Kejriwal had made similar allegations.

In the 70-member Delhi Assembly, the BJP has 32 MLAs, including one of its ally the Shiromani Akali Dal. The AAP has 28 MLAs, while Congress has just eight.

After the Lok Sabha polls, three BJP MLAs - Harsh Vardhan, Ramesh Bidhuri and Pravesh Verma - have been elected as MPs, bringing its tally down to 28. To form the government, any party needs to have support of 36 legislators.

Kejriwal had alleged that eight of the AAP's MLAs were contacted by the BJP, but said he remained assured of his party members' loyalty. ''They (the BJP) do not know the stuff AAP MLAs are made of," he said.

Senior AAP leader Manish Sisodia asserted that he knew about the BJP's attempts to break away the party's MLAs but he too was sure that the BJP would not succeed.