The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Sunday claimed that Rs 1,400 crore was distributed in some media houses to defame the party and openly attacked the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for paying the money.
The allegation comes in the wake of a sting operation by media portal mediasarkar.com, which showed some AAP members allegedly accepting donations without proper verification.
"I am told Rs. 1,400 crore has been distributed to a few media houses. Who are these media houses?" tweeted AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal.
The party also held a press conference in New Delhi on Sunday in which it gave a clean chit to all its members featured in the video and reiterated it would sue the media portal's chief executive officer Anuranjan Jha as well as some other media houses.
"We will soon be filing civil and criminal defamation cases against the media portal and some channels that have been telecasting the sting operation," lawyer Prashant Bhushan, an AAP leader, said.
"Portions have been edited and deleted to show AAP candidates in bad light. There is political motivation behind the operation. All our members are honest and innocent," party leader Yogendra Yadav said.
The party also said it has appealed to the Election Commission and the Delhi Election Commission to devise rules during election time for media houses so that such sting operations could be certified before being telecast.
"The Election Commission will take a decision on it," added Yadav.
The sting that came out on Thursday showed AAP leaders, including Shazia Ilmi, candidate from south Delhi's RK Puram, accepting donations without proper verification days before the December 4 Delhi assembly polls.