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Cancellation of Punjab Special Assembly Triggers Political Tussle; SAD Seeks Probe Into Alleged ‘Op Lotus’

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Amid the commotion over Punjab Governor Banwari Lal Purohit’s withdrawal of permission to summon a special session of Vidhan Sabha, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) has sought an inquiry into the ‘Operation Lotus’ allegations.

The ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has claimed that the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) has offered its MLAs an offer of Rs 25 crore each in a bid to topple the Punjab government under its ‘Operation Lotus.’

The AAP government was to convene a special session to move a ‘confidence motion’ in favour of the state government amid these allegations to prove its majority. However, the governor withdrew its order after seeking legal opinion on the matter, citing that provisions in Vidhan Sabha rules do not allow it.

The withdrawal of the special assembly session triggered a mixed response among political parties on Thursday. While AAP MLAs protested against the decision with a march towards Raj Bhawan, Congress welcomed the decision and convened a meeting of the Congress Legislature Party. The BJP also protested against the ruling party and asked for “proof” of the alleged bribing.

In an attack against the AAP government, the BJP also said that no one would offer even Rs 5 Lakh to the AAP MLAs, let alone Rs 25 crore.

Meanwhile, the SAD welcomed the governor’s decision during a press conference. SAD leader Bikram Singh Majithia said, “We welcome the governor’s decision over the session. But the governor should also begin an inquiry into these bribing allegations as this it undermines democracy.”

Reading out the FIR registered by several AAP MLAs accusing the BJP of offering bribes, Majithia called it a “bogus FIR” and said the document did not have contact numbers or names of persons who contacted the MLAs.

“Why has there been no action by the police on this FIR in the past nine days? Is this a case of 420 by the complainants or is the police incompetent?” he questioned. However, Majithia said if someone was trying to bribe the MLAs, undermining of democracy is the most serious matter.

Majithia alleged that the entire issue and the allegations were “drama tactics” by AAP, as the Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat elections are nearing.

SAD demanded that the government should intervene and mark an inquiry into these allegations, either by a High Court or Supreme Court judge so that truth is revealed.

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