12 Punjab AAP MLAs willing to jump ship, claims Congress : The Tribune India

12 Punjab AAP MLAs willing to jump ship, claims Congress

Says 9 in touch with us, 3 with BJP | Dubs ‘Operation Lotus’ a bid to divert attention from dissent within party

12 Punjab AAP MLAs willing to jump ship, claims Congress

LoP Partap Bajwa (C) addresses a press conference in Chandigarh on Thursday. Photo: Pradeep Tewari

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 22

The state Congress leadership today claimed that there were specific intelligence inputs that 12 disgruntled AAP MLAs were seriously looking for other political options and ‘Operation Lotus’ was an attempt to divert attention from the growing internal dissensions in its Punjab unit and cover up its failure to fulfil the poll promises.

Seeking to puncture AAP’s narrative behind the ‘Operation Lotus’, Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) chief Amrinder Singh Raja Warring said while nine of its MLAs were in touch with the Congress, three in contact with the BJP.

Poaching a false narrative

Intelligence inputs have been shared by a central agency with its Punjab counterpart. Wary of any such embarrassment ahead of the Assembly elections in Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat, the AAP leadership is building up a false narrative of its MLAs being poached. — Amrinder Singh Raja Warring, PCC chief

These leaders had joined AAP just before the Assembly elections, he added.

“Intelligence inputs have been shared by a central agency with its Punjab counterpart. Wary of any such embarrassment ahead of the Assembly polls in HP and Gujarat, the AAP leadership is building up a false narrative of its MLAs being poached,” Warring said while addressing a joint media briefing with Leader of the OppositionPartap Singh Bajwa.

Claiming that the party would fall apart well before the 2024 parliamentary elections, Bajwa said, “The visible closeness of CM Bhagwant Mann with the BJP and the central AAP leadership propping up the second line leadership for Punjab speaks about the state of affairs. It’s more than obvious that Mann was going to be the Eknath Shinde of Punjab before the parliamentary polls.”

Also, the special Assembly session against the rule book by the Mann-led AAP government amid its high-voltage drama was a ploy to borrow another six months before any non-confidence motion could be tabled on the House floor,” Bajwa claimed.

He challenged the AAP’s allegation of Congress colluding with the BJP, stating that it was the B-team to weaken the party. “Be it Goa, Maharashtra, North East or other states, the BJP has engineered defections in our party. In the coming Assembly elections in Gujarat or Himachal Pradesh, AAP was working on the BJP’s agenda to eat in to the vote bank of the Congress.”

The leaders said, “We are the principal Opposition party and we are performing our role well and supporting AAP when it comes to safeguarding the interests of Punjab.”

#Amrinder Singh Raja Warring #Gujarat

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