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Arvind Kejriwal will take the majority test todayNew Delhi:
Ahead of voting on a confidence motion proposed by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, legislators of both Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the BJP continued overnight protests at Delhi assembly, accusing each other of corruption. AAP MLAs have alleged a scam of Rs 1400 crore in 2016 when Lieutenant Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena was Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) chairman. BJP legislators are demanding the sacking of ministers Manish Sisodia and Satyendar Jain over alleged corruption.Singing songs and raising slogans against the Lieutenant Governor, AAP MLAs squatted near the Mahatma Gandhi statue at the assembly, while BJP MLAs staged their dharna near the statues of Bhagat Singh, Raj Guru and Sukhdev.The protests came hours after Arvind Kejriwal called for a confidence vote in the house to prove all MLAs are with him despite what he claims are BJP’s attempts to break his party as part of an “Operation Lotus” or a plan to dislodge his government in Delhi. Mr Kejriwal said he wanted to take the majority test to prove that his party MLAs were honest and would not be tempted to cross over.Mr Kejriwal alleged that the BJP has “bought” 277 MLAs till now to topple various state governments across the country, including Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Goa Maharashtra and Assam. “The BJP tried to buy our legislators too, but not even a single MLA accepted their offer. The Operation Lotus has failed in Delhi,” he said. He said the current central government is the “most corrupt” as it is “poaching” MLAs by taxing the common peopleDuring the assembly proceedings earlier in the day, BJP MLAs were marshalled out from the house as they raised slogans against AAP, and demanded discussions on various issues, including Excise Policy and Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) report on construction of Delhi schools. Later, AAP legislators too jumped into the well and demanded Mr Saxena’s resignation over Rs 1400 crore “Khadi Scam”, besides a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Enforcement Directorate.The CBI recently raided Mr Sisodia in a case related to alleged irregularities and corruption in Delhi’s liquor policy which was introduced earlier this year and then rolled back. Mr Sisodia is number one on a list of 15 accused named in the CBI’s FIR on liquor policy violations. He has claimed that CBI officials will check his bank locker today.The FIR is based on a reference from the Lieutenant Governor, who had accused AAP of bringing the Excise Policy “with the sole aim” of benefiting private liquor barons for financial benefits to “individuals at the highest echelons of the government. Mr Saxena has alleged various discrepancies in the functioning of the Delhi government.Another AAP minister, Satyendra Jain, was arrested by the central probe agency on May 30 under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) over alleged hawala transactions with a Kolkata-based firm in 2015-16. Mr Jain’s arrest, and recent CBI raids on Mr Sisodia, have triggered a massive war of words between the AAP and the BJP with each bitterly criticising the other.AAP has said that the 2024 general election is set to be a contest between Mr Kejriwal and Prime Minister Narendra Modi and accuses the BJP of misusing central agencies to try and stop the AAP leader because of his rising popularity and “commendable” work in the education and health sector.The BJP has denied AAP’s allegations, accusing it of trying to divert attention from the corruption in its government. In Mr Saxena’s defence, the party said AAP leaders were levelling corruption allegations against him “to take revenge”.



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