As the Karnataka political crisis deepens, Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy has today launched stinging allegations against the BJP of bribing Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) lawmakers to "bring down his government".
"Legislators were offered Rs 40-50 crore to lure them; whose money is it?" Mr Kumaraswamy asked even as opposition members remained unruffled apparently to ensure there was no disorder that would disturb voting. The coalition government in Karnataka has received a new deadline from the governor to prove majority by the end of the day, after it ignored the first deadline of 1:30 pm.
The bribery allegations continued as the debate progressed with the Congress-JDS ministers attacking the BJP for its alleged toppling game.
JDS lawmaker Srinivas Gowda alleged he was offered Rs 5 crore bribe by BJP to defect to bring down government.
JDS minister Sa Ra Mahesh alleged that former JDS state president Vishwanath had told him that he needs money as he has election-related loan of Rs 28 crore.
Congress's Krishna Byre Gowda alleged hundreds of crores were being pumped in to bring down the government.
Mr Kumaraswamy then said that from the day he came to power, he knew it won't be for long. He added that he would see how long the new BJP government will remain stable.
"From the day I came to power, I know it won't be for long. How long you will sit in power, I am here to see. How stable your government will be with the people who are now helping you," he said in an apparent attack at the 15 dissident Congress and JDS lawmakers, whose resignations have rocked the Karnataka government, triggering the present crisis.
HD Kumaraswamy accused BJP of resorting to ways to bypass the anti-defection law. The chief minister also asked the BJP why it is in a hurry to end the trust vote debate in one day if it was sure of its numbers.
"Why is the BJP in a hurry, if they have the numbers? Why the hurry to end the debate in one day? I know it is not easy to get your MLAs," he said looking at BJP's BS Yeddyurappa.
As Mr Yeddyurappa insisted on an immediate trust vote, HD Kumaraswamy said: "After 14 months (in power), we have come to the final stage. Let's have a discussion. You can still form government. Nothing urgent. You can do it on Monday or Tuesday also. I am not going to misuse power."
The BJP has alleged the coalition is delaying the trust vote; the Congress-JDS appears to be in a minority after losing the support of 18 lawmakers over the past two weeks.