National Conference patriarch Farooq Abdullah today alleged that YSR Congress chief YS Jagan Mohan Reddy had offered to pay Rs 1,500 crore to the Congress if it made him the Chief Minister of the united Andhra Pradesh. Mr Reddy, he said, made the offer soon after the death of his father, the state's former Chief Minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy.
Mr Abdullah was canvassing for votes on behalf of Chandrababu Naidu, the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, whose biggest political rival in the state is Mr Reddy. Mr Naidu has frequently accused the YSR Congress chief of corruption. Last week, he said Jagan Mohan Reddy has 31 criminal cases against him.
"Jagan once came to my house when Andhra was united. I want to remind him that he told me he was ready to give Rs 1,500 crore if the Congress made him the Chief Minister," Farooq Abdullah said while addressing a meeting in Kadapa, Mr Reddy's hometown this afternoon.
"Where did the money come from? Does he have a treasure hidden inside the earth," the former Chief Minister questioned. Then he added, "The money must have been looted."
Such a person would "care for his own future, not yours", he told the gathering.
Mr Naidu has been one of the key interlocuters of the opposition, which has been trying to build a united front against the BJP. As part of the plan, senior opposition leaders are expected to campaign for each other.
Mr Abdullah's National Conference has tied up with the Congress in Jammu and Kashmir.
Mr Naidu, who initiated dialogue with the Congress last year, putting behind decades of political rivalry, has however, drawn the line at having an alliance in the state.
The Congress is considered as being responsible for the bifurcation of Telangana, and any association with it in Andhra Pradesh is seen as a liability for Mr Naidu.
The alliance between the two parties in Telangana last year, however, backfired too, with Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao's Telangana Rashtra Samithi practically sweeping the election.