No AAP legislator in touch with BJP in Punjab, says Amit Shah
A BJP leader in Punjab had recently claimed that at least 11 AAP legislators in Punjab were in touch with the BJP for a possible switchover.Updated: May 20, 2017 22:45 IST
In an embarrassment to the Punjab BJP leadership that has been claiming that Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLAs in the state are in touch with them, BJP national president Amit Shah on Saturday categorically stated that no AAP legislator in Punjab is in touch with his party.
“I don’t know what our Punjab leaders have said on the issue, but let me make it very clear that no AAP leader is in touch with us and there was no such plan either,” said Shah while talking to the media at the Chandigarh Press Club.
Many BJP leaders, including state BJP chief and Union minister Vijay Sampla, have repeatedly claimed that 11 AAP lawmakers are in touch with them and ready for “switch over”.
Even the leader of Opposition in Punjab assembly and senior AAP leader HS Phoolka claimed that the BJP was “alluring” his party’s MLAs with an offer of Rs 15 crore each.
The BJP chief is on a 110-day nationwide tour, which began in Jammu last month, to strengthen the organisational structure of the party with an eye on the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
Shah will stay in Chandigarh, having one Lok Sabha seat, for two days to chalk out a strategy to strengthen the party at the grass-root level. Shah will visit Punjab on June 28.
ON SAD-BJP ALLIANCE
Shah also asserted that the Shiromani Akali Dal-BJP alliance in Punjab would continue despite its defeat in the assembly elections.
On the poor performance of the BJP in Punjab polls despite a strong Modi wave in some other states that went to the polls recenly, Shah said his party was a minor alliance in Punjab.
“We have contested only a few seats in Punjab as a very small coalition partner. Still the party is in the process of introspection to find out why we performed poorly,” he said.
Asked if the BJP would contest 2019 Lok Sabha polls in alliance with SAD, Shah said BJP leaders would take a decision in this regard at an appropriate time.
NO CHANGE OF GUARD IN HARYANA
Evading all questions on the ongoing power tussle among BJP leaders in Haryana, Shah categorically stated that there was no plan to have a change of guard in the state and Manohar Lal Khattar will continue to be chief minister.
He said the reports about infighting among BJP MLAs are baseless. “I meet each and every MLA. Nobody complains anything to me,” he said when his attention was drawn to the reports that around dozen BJP MLAs had shown their resentment against Khattar.
“Khattar would continue as CM and there is no plan to replace him,” he added.
First Published: May 20, 2017 17:42 IST