‘Just gone shopping’: Giriraj Singh denies AAP’s charge of bribing voters

A bitter contest between the ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spilled over into polling day with Union minister Giriraj Singh on Saturday refuting allegations that he distributed money to influence voters for the Delhi Assembly elections.

“I had just gone to the shop to buy some stuff. The shopkeeper is a known person. It has been done to raise an issue of Bihari versus non-Bihari,” ANI quoted Singh, who is from Bihar, as saying on Saturday.

On Friday, the AAP had alleged that BJP MPs including Union minister Giriraj Singh were ‘distributing cash and liquor’ in the national capital to influence the voters.

“We had earlier said the BJP will resort to distributing cash and liquor to influence the voters. It is doing so now. Yesterday too, such reports had come in. BJP violated the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) during the entire campaigning period, by giving inflammatory statements. Now with just a day left for the polling, Union Minister Giriraj Singh and other BJP MPs are openly distributing cash and liquor,” AAP leader Sanjay Singh had said at a press conference.

“We have received one such news regarding Giriraj Singh from the public in Rithala Vidhan Sabha area. The people from the area told us that he was distributing money,” said Singh.

Sanjay Singh also said the AAP has informed the Election Commission about the incident, demanding strict action and remove all BJP MPs from Delhi, who are not residents of the national capital with immediate effect.

The results of the elections will be declared on February 11. The AAP which won 67 of 70 Assembly seats in 2015, is hoping to retain power while the BJP which won only three seats in the last Assembly polls is aiming to wrest power.

The two parties had campaigned at fever pitch with the BJP accusing the AAP of backing the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) at Shaheen Bagh. A host of BJP leaders have indulged in incendiary rhetoric leading to the Election Commission to ban Union minister Anurag Thakur once from campaigning and Delhi MP Parvesh Verma twice.

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