A former AAP MLA on Wednesday released an audio tape in which party chief Arvind Kejriwal was allegedly heard trying to engineer defection in the Congress to form a government in 2014 in Delhi during president's rule. The AAP dismissed the audio, saying it was an attempt to defame the party.
In the tape, the authenticity of which could not be ascertained, Kejriwal is allegedly heard telling former legislator Rajesh Garg to split the Congress as it was not ready to support the AAP again to form the government in Delhi.
Garg told reporters that the conversation between him and Kejriwal took place sometime in July-August, 2014. Kejriwal had resigned on February 14, 2014 after 49 days in power over the failure to pass an anti-graft bill in the Delhi assembly.
The AAP chief was also allegedly heard telling Garg that Manish Sisodia, now Delhi's deputy chief minister, was in touch with the Congress on the issue of forming the government. AAP leader Preeti Sharma Menon told reporters that such tapes are not new and were also released earlier to defame the party.
Here are excerpts of the tape released by Garg:
Kejriwal*: AAP is prepared to take support from the 8 Congress MLAs.
Kejriwal: Manish Sisodia has been in touch with Congress MLAs but they don't seem to be keen on supporting AAP.
Garg: All the 8 Congress MLAs are ready to support AAP but Ajay Maken, (Randeep) Surjewala and one-two other people are creating obstacles.
Kejriwal: Because of the problems being created by Maken, Congress MLAs have not been able to take a final decision.
Kejriwal: We should not speak out at this time. We should speak out only if the Congress MLAs say publicly that they are prepared to support us.
Garg: We have to move fast else the Lt Governor may announce dissolution of the assembly.
Garg: We have to move very carefully so that the Cong MLAs don't end up doing a sting on us.
Kejriwal: What you should do is break the Congress and get six MLAs to float their own party. They can support AAP from the outside.
Kejriwal: We have been trying for one-and-a-half months now, but we haven't been able to crack a deal with the Congress so far.
Kejriwal: These 6 MLAs were planning to join the BJP but they could not do so because three of them are Muslims. We should get them to now support AAP.
Garg: Okay, I will get this started.
*The authenticity of the tape could not be ascertained. AAP dismissed the audio as an attempt of defame the party.
With inputs from Agencies