Bengaluru: Amid intense jockeying for power in Karnataka, the Janata Dal-Secular-Congress combine’s chief ministerial candidate H D Kumaraswamy on Wednesday claimed the Bharatiya Janata Party offered his MLAs Rs 100 crore in bribes to break ranks and back the BJP in government formation, a charge rejected by the saffron party.A day after Karnataka delivered a split verdict in the assembly polls, and the rival camps intensified efforts to outmanoeuvre each other in the race for forming the government, Kumaraswamy, who was elected the JD-S legislature party leader, dropped the Rs 100 crore bribe bombshell.
“This (talk of) Rs 100 crore, Rs 200 crore is imaginary. The BJP is not doing this. We are not in the habit of practising horsetrading. This is the kind of politics JD-S and Congress do. We are going by the rule book and we will form the government,” Javadekar said. The allegation was, however, repeated by outgoing chief minister Siddaramaiah, who accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of encouraging horsetrading so the BJP returned to power. “Narendra Modi is encouraging horsetrading. The governor has to give (the first) opportunity (for forming the government) to us,” he told reporters. When asked about reports that some of the 78 newly elected Congress MLAs had skipped Wednesday’s meeting of its legislature party, he said, “We are all united”. D K Shivakumar, the resourceful minister in the Siddaramaiah government who had hosted party lawmakers from Gujarat at a resort in Karnataka to prevent “poaching” by the BJP ahead of Rajya Sabha elections in that state, also claimed two MLAs who were reportedly missing were with the Congress. “Nagendra and Anand Singh are in touch with us. All 78 MLAs are together. If we are not, people will beat us,” he told TV channel India Today. The newly elected MLAs of the BJP, which emerged as the single largest party with 104 seats in the 224-member House, chose B S Yeddyurappa as their leader. Immediately thereafter, Yeddyurappa made a dash for Raj Bhavan and staked claim to form the government. “I requested Governor Vajubhai Vala to allow me to take oath as early as possible. We are 100 per cent confident that he will take a decision immediately,” he later told journalists. Kumaraswamy, who has emerged the dark horse in the three-horse race with just 37 MLAs, was formally elected the leader of the JD-S legislature party. He said the Congress had extended unconditional support to the JD-S for forming the government and “we will provide a stable rule for full five years”. Meanwhile, the newly elected Congress MLAs also met to discuss the strategy for government formation. “We exchanged views on our strategy for forming the government,” a party leader said after the meeting, and added the issue of electing the new leader of the Congress Legislature Party was not discussed. Later in the day, Janata Dal-Secular and Congress leaders met Karnataka governor Vajubhai Vala to press their claim for government formation. After meeting the governor Kumaraswamy said that they have submitted a list of 117 MLAs to the governor and requested him to consider their claim to form the government. Karnatak Congress chief Parameshwara said, "The governor assured us he would act as per Constitution, Supreme Court judgments and precedents." "Governor has assured that he will take action as per the Constitution. We have full faith in him that he will not do injustice. We have our numbers, not not even a single member has moved out. We will not allow any such thing to happen," Congress leader DK Shivakumar said.
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