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Defamation Case: BJP Sues Arvind Kejriwal, Atishi Marlena Over Poaching Allegation

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Praveen Shankar Kapoor on Monday filed a defamation case against Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Cabinet Minister Atishi Marlena over poaching allegations made by the two who had said that Aam Aadmi Party leaders were approached by the BJP to join them in return for cash.

The matter is listed for hearing on May 4 in the court of Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Tanya Bamniyal of the Rouse Avenue Court.

Alleging that the claims made by AAP’s senior leaders against the BJP are false, Mr. Kapoor said that AAP leaders had not furnished any material to substantiate their claims.

In his application in the court, Mr. Kapoor cited a social media post of Mr. Kejriwal (dated Jan. 27) in which he had alleged that the BJP had contacted seven AAP MLAs and was offering ₹25 crore to poach them.

He also cited similar claims and a press briefing by Ms. Marlena on April 2 in which she had said that she had received an offer to join the BJP to “save” her “political career”, failing which she would be arrested by the Enforcement Directorate.

“By such kind of malicious scandalous statements, you and your colleagues defame the BJP and its members and try to gain political mileage by use of the platform of press conferences to make such false statements knowing fully well that all social media platforms would carry such news as you are not only an MLA but a Minister in the government of NCT of Delhi,” the complaint alleged.

In his plea, Mr. Kapoor had sought the withdrawal of the remarks made during the press conference and an apology on TV and social media. He also stated that if the same was not done, he would be constrained to initiate both civil and criminal proceedings against Ms. Marlena.

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