Janata Dal Secular (JDS) HD Kumaraswamy has alleged that his party MLAs are being offered Rs 100 crore each to support the Bharatiya Janata Party for forming government in Karnataka, which has thrown up a fractured mandate. Addressing mediapersons in Bengaluru, the JDS leader also targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi, accusing him of misusing his position.
"JDS MLAs are being offered Rs 100 crore each. Where is this black money coming from? They are supposedly the servers of poor people and they are offering money today. Where are the income tax officials?" said Kumaraswamy, who has been named as the chief ministerial candidate if the Governor invites Congress-JDS combined to form government.
Kumaraswamy further said that while both the Congress and the BJP approached him for government formation, he chose to side with the former to "remove black spot" on his father and former prime minister HD Deve Gowda's career.
"I have been offered 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. So God has given me opportunity to remove this black spot. So I am going with Congress," he said.
He also used the opportunity to caution Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala on possible "horse-trading". The JDS leader said that the Governor must not take any decision that encourages horse-trading.
Referring to 2008 Operation Kamal, he said, "Forget 'Operation Kamal' being successful, there are people who are ready to leave BJP and come with us. If you try to poach one from ours, we'll do the same and take double from you. I'm also telling the Governor to not take any decision which encourages horse-trading."
The statement by the JDS leader came after he was elected legislative party leader in a meeting of newly elected lawmakers of the party in Bengaluru. News agency ANI reported that two MLAs of the JDS had skipped the key meeting.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Congress had alleged that the BJP was trying to poach MLAs. Congress MLA Amaregouda Linganagouda Patil Bayyapur had claimed that he was approached by the BJP and offered a ministerial berth.
"I got a call from the BJP leaders. They said come to us and we'll give a ministry to you. We'll make you a minister. But, I'm going to stay here. HD Kumaraswamy is our Chief Minister," he said.
Meanwhile, sources have told Zee News that the Congress party has booked 100 rooms at Eagleton Golf Resort in Bengaluru to house newly elected MLAs. This is the same resort where Gujarat Congress MLAs were stayed during Rajya Sabha elections.