The BJP has offered Rs. 100 crore in cash and cabinet positions to lawmakers of the Janata Dal Secular (JDS), its chief HD Kumaraswamy alleged today, ruling out any truck with the party in an attempt to take power in Karnataka.
- BJP approached 32 JDS lawmakers with Rs 100 crore cash: Kumaraswamy
- "None of my MLAs agreed," the JDS chief said at a press conference
- "100 crore figure imaginary, no horse-trading": BJP's Prakash Javadekar
The BJP approached 32 lawmakers but "none of my MLAs agreed", Mr Kumaraswamy told reporters in Bengaluru.
"They have promised people in my party 100 crores in cash and cabinet posts. Where is this black money coming from? Where are the income tax officials? I urge Karnataka people to understand what is happening," Mr Kumaraswamy said.
"If people have forgotten Operation Lotus, I want to remind everyone," he added, referring to the term used to describe the defection of lawmakers from the Congress and JDS to the BJP in 2008.
Mr Kumaraswamy, who is hoping to become chief minister with Congress support after a split verdict, also denied that he had met with BJP leaders, questioning: "Who is (Union Minister Prakash) Javadekar? Who is that gentleman?"
Later in the press conference, he said: "I have been presented with offers from both sides; I am not saying this loosely. There's a black spot on my father's career because of my decision to go with the BJP in 2004 and 2005. Now, god has given me an opportunity to undo this black spot, therefore, I am going with the Congress."
Rejecting Mr Kumaraswamy's allegations, union minister Prakash Javadekar said, "the 100 crore figure is imaginary, we aren't into horse-trading of any kind."
The BJP emerged as the largest party in Karnataka yesterday but fell eight seats short of the 112-majority mark. The JDS and the Congress together have 118, along with two independents, and they reached an agreement yesterday in which Mr Kumaraswamy would be chief minister of a JDS-Congress coalition. The two parties have accused the BJP of stopping at nothing to lure lawmakers away.
"If you try to poach one (leader) from ours, we'll do the same and take double from you," Mr Kumaraswamy said.