A sting by a television news channel has caught a group of Karnataka legislators seeking money for their votes in the June 11 Rajya Sabha election in the state. Four MLAs, or members of their family, are seen asking for cash starting from Rs 5 crore upwards, two of whom were from the Janata Dal (Secular), The Hindu reported. The JD(S) MLAs were Mallikarjun Khuba and GT Deve Gowda, while two independent legislators caught in the video were BR Patil and Varthur Prakash. Deve Gowda told The Hindu that it “was a conspiracy”.

The Congress rules the state, having won 123 of the 225 Assembly seats, and the Bharatiya Janata Party has 44 seats, making it the main Opposition party. Each candidate needs 45 votes to win a Rajya Sabha seat. JD(S), which has 40 members in the Assembly, need five more votes to win the Mangaluru seat. Reports have said that in-fighting within the party has led to some of its members threatening to vote for the Congress in the upcoming election.