The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) claims its 'success' in video-recording a senior Delhi BJP leader, purportedly showing him trying to bribe an AAP MLA to help the BJP form a government in the Capital, was the result of a long campaign.
"When Shalimar Bagh MLA Bandana Kumari claimed she was being offered money to switch sides a couple of months ago, people asked why we didn't record it. It was then we started putting in place a formal mechanism to carry out sting operations," said Ankit Lal, who looks after AAP's IT programmes.
The party says volunteers on the ground helped create an impression that its Sangam Vihar MLA Dinesh Mohaniya, who said he played along for three days in the latest sting, was 'vulnerable' and 'can be approached to switch sides'. AAP volunteer Vivek Yadav recorded whatever was happening, while Mohaniya had been trained to "strike the right notes".
"Mohaniya was first contacted a month ago. Meetings happened for three days. The footage we have released is of Sunday - the last and the most crucial day. Even in the run-up to the 2013 assembly elections, our volunteers had carried out small sting ops to catch those distributing liquor to lure voters. It was a good job but not professionally executed," said Lal.
The BJP's Delhi unit has distanced itself from the controversy and sought an explanation from the leader caught on tape.
Ironically, Mohaniya had his share of sting last year. Just before the 2013 Assembly elections, a web portal carried out a sting operation against some of AAP's key leaders and candidates, including Mohaniya and allegedly showed them involved in raising funds through illegal means. The AAP had vehemently denied all allegations and called the CD doctored.
Now the same person has given the party hope of fresh elections. AAP has been relentlessly praising Mohaniya for "risking his life and exposing BJP". AAP leader Ashutosh said, "The country needs politicians like Dinesh Mohaniya and Vivek Yadav. Today I feel so proud that I am working with them." In the 2013 assembly elections, Mohaniya defeated the BJP's Shiv Charan Lal Gupta and Congress' Jag Parvesh.
AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal on Monday released a sting video purportedly showing Delhi BJP vice president Sher Singh Dagar offering Rs 4 crore to Mohaniya amid reports that the BJP was preparing to form the government in Delhi, which has been under president's rule since February.