Some AAP MLAs Unreachable, Say Sources Before Head Count at Kejriwal’s Meet; BJP to Protest Across 19 Places

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Delhi Liquor Scam Updates: Ahead of Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal’s meeting with all Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLAs at his residence at 11 a.m, party sources have told News18 that some MLAs are unreachable. The AAP will keep note of how many MLAs attend today’s meeting, sources said.

The meeting was called to decide the party’s future strategy a day after the Delhi BJP stepped up attack on AAP government over the liquor scam case.

The BJP launched its Jan Chaupal protest from deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia’s Assembly constituency Patparganj on Wednesday, alleging it was “shocking” to see that those who came to cleanse the politics were involved in a liquor scam.

AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal had promised that he will not let a single tainted MLA to sit in the Assembly but has maintained two of his ministers Manish Sisodia and Satyendra Jain in his cabinet, despite corruption charges against them, said Delhi BJP president Adesh Gupta.

The saffron party is set to hold protests across 19 places in Delhi today against the excise policy scam. Leaders such as Adesh Gupta, Gautam Gambhir and Manoj Tiwari will protest at various locations.

The CBI currently probing alleged irregularities in implementation of Kejriwal government’s new excise police has named Sisodia who holds Excise portfolio, as one of the accused in its FIR. The agency had also conducted raid at the Deputy CM’s residence last Saturday.

Here are the latest updates in Delhi liquor scam case:

• The political slugfest in Delhi is likely to intensify further as AAP MLAs are scheduled to meet at Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s residence here at 11 am on Thursday to discuss alleged poaching attempts by the BJP. Sources in the party said all the legislators have been called for the meeting, adding that some of them could not be contacted.

• The Delhi Assembly has issued a notification for holding a special session. The assembly session is scheduled to be held from 11 am on August 26, according to a document issued by the Delhi Assembly on Wednesday.

• A fresh face-off between the Kejriwal-led party and the BJP intensified after the AAP’s national spokesperson and Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh said his party’s MLAs — Ajay Dutt, Sanjeev Jha, Somnath Bharati and Kuldeep Kumar — have been approached by leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) with whom they have “friendly relations”.

• In a resolution passed at AAP’s political affairs committee meeting, the party also appealed to the prime minister to spend his time “addressing people’s problems like price rise and unemployment”, instead of making efforts to bring down other parties’ governments in the country.

• After AAP’s press conference to expose ‘Operation Lotus’, Kejriwal termed his party legislators’ claim a very serious matter and convened a meeting of the AAP’s 11-member political affairs committee (PAC), which condemned the BJP’s efforts to topple the Delhi government. The meeting of the AAP’s highest decision making body, chaired by Kejriwal, noted that the BJP has offered crores of rupees to poach other parties’ MLAs and demanded that the saffron party disclose the sources of the money that it has been spending to topple other parties’ governments in various states since it came to power at the Centre in 2014.

• The Congress also slammed the AAP government for alleged irregularities in the Delhi excise policy, and hit out at Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his deputy Manish Sisodia, saying both of them should get Bharat Ratna if there is a new category for corruption.

• The AAP on Wednesday accused the BJP of making efforts to topple Delhi government, claiming that the saffron party approached its four MLAs with an “offer of Rs 20 crore to switch sides or else face the CBI and ED”. The BJP countered the charges and demanded that the AAP disclose the names of those who approached their legislators.

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