Janata Dal (Secular) leader HD Kumaraswamy on Wednesday accused the Bharatiya Janata Party of attempting to poach legislators from his party by offering them money, PTI reported.
“If [Narendra] Modi is out to end corruption, then how do you explain the BJP coming to our MLAs and saying they will pay us 100 crore and give a Cabinet seat?” asked Kumaraswamy, who was elected the leader of the JD(S) legislative party earlier in the day. “Will this money be in black or white? Where are the Income Tax officials?”
The JD(S) leader warned the BJP against approaching its MLAs. “If you try to poach one from ours, we will do the same and take double from you,” he said. “I am also telling the governor to not take any decision which encourages horse-trading.”
In 2008, the BJP emerged as the single-largest party in the state but failed to go past the halfway mark. The party then allegedly engineered the defection of four JD(S) and three Congress legislators, and successfully staked claim to form government, he said.
Kumaraswamy said that the Congress-JD(S) alliance had a clear majority with the support of 116 MLAs. “How can the BJP, with nine members lacking, form a government?” he asked. He pointed out how the Congress could not form governments in Goa, Manipur and Meghalaya despite being the largest party, as the BJP, with less seats, tied up with regional parties and staked claim to the governments there instead. He asked how the BJP could behave differently in Karnataka.
He said that it was not a question of him or his father, former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda, wanting power but a matter of forming a stable government.
The JD(S) leader is expected to meet Governor Vajubhai Vala once more along with Karnataka Congress chief G Parameshwara at 1.30 pm.
The BJP denied Kumaraswamy’s allegations of horse-trading and said the Congress’ MLAs are unhappy with the party’s alliance with the JD(S). “They are levelling baseless charges against BJP,” Union minister Prakash Javadekar told reporters.