Amid allegations by ruling coalition leaders in Karnataka that BJP was attempting to destabilise the HD Kumaraswamy government, a video of a JDS MLA purportedly claiming Rs 40 crore in cash was offered to him surfaced Wednesday.
Though MLA K Mahadev in his purported conversation with a group of people of his Piriyapatna constituency did not say who made the offer, the Congress alleged corruption money of the BJPs central government was being used for buying legislators in Karnataka.
The state BJP rejected the latest allegation of Congress as “baseless”.
In the video aired by local news channels, Mahadev claimed rebel Congress MLA Ramesh Jarkiholi, who has tendered resignation from the assembly membership, allegedly demanded Rs 80 crore for staying with the coalition.
The JDS MLA could not be contacted immediately for his comments on the video.
Chief Minister has to take everyone in a balanced way or else they will threaten to resign, you are seeing it right now demand for money or else threaten to resign… you are seeing it in the media. Ramesh Jarkiholi in front of me demanded Rs 80 crore to stay with (the coalition), he said.
He then made the allegation that he was offered Rs 30-40 crore without specifying who tried to lure him.
Rs 30-40 crore were brought to my room, but I threatened to call ACB (Anti Corruption Bureau) and asked them to take back. Thrice they brought money. My decision is not to sell myself for money. Rs 40 crore is not small amount, dont know how to spend it, the MLA said.
After the video surfaced, the state Congress in a tweet accused BJP was behind luring Mahadev.
It has come out now that JD(S) legislator K Mahadev was lured with Rs 40 crore to join BJP. (BJP president) Amit Shah and (Prime Minister) Narendra Modi are trying for operation ‘kamala’ to topple the coalition government that is constitutionally formed.
“Corruption money of BJP government at the centre is directly getting used for buying legislators, it alleged in the tweet in Kannada.
Terming the Congress allegation as baseless, Karnataka BJP Joint Spokesperson S Prakash said it was an attempt to divert attention from the crisis facing the coalition.
These allegations have no meaning. Only an attempt to divert the attention of people from the mistrust that is raging between the coalition partners,” he told PTI.
The Congress and JD(S) coalition, grappling with dissidence largely in the national party, has been repeatedly accusing the BJP of trying to destabilise the 13-month old government by trying to poach their MLAs with allurements, a charge denied by the saffron party.
BJP has been saying it had nothing to do with the developments in the ruling coalition and the H D Kumaraswamy government will fall on its own.