The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday (May 16) hit back at JD (S) state chief HD Kumaraswamy for alleging that the saffron party was trying to poach the lawmakers of his party and had even offered them "Rs 100 crore and ministerial posts".
Kumaraswamy earlier defended his party's surprise alliance with the Congress and accused the BJP of trying to bribe the lawmakers after election results in the state threw up a hung house.
"People of Karnataka must understand that the BJP, which is known for horse-trading, isn't going to act in their favour. Some of them (BJP) have approached leaders in our party and offered them Rs 100 crore and ministerial posts," said Kumaraswamy at a press conference in Bengaluru on Wednesday.
He also warned the BJP and said, "If you try to poach our MLAs, we will do the same and take double from you."
Taking a strong exception to Kumaraswamy's remarks, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said that "poaching and horse trading" are something for which the Congress party is famous.
"They are leveling baseless charges against BJP. Poaching and horse trading is not done by BJP, Congress is famous for it. Their own MLAs are not happy with their alliance...Rs 100 crore figure is not only imaginary but it is what Congress-JDS do politics through. We are going by rules,we have submitted our claim to the Governor, are confident of forming the govt," Javadekar, who is also Karnataka BJP in-charge, told the media today.
Whenever there is a hung assembly post elections, talks of 'horse trading' and 'MLA poaching' start doing rounds. Now that the political situation is precariously poised in Karnataka, there are talks that the BJP may approach the JD (S) and Congress MLAs, and cajole them to switch sides.
Some Congress and JD (S) have openly claimed that the BJP has been trying to contact them with offers of a cabinet berth.
"I got a call from the BJP leaders. They said come to us and we will give a ministry to you. We will make you a minister. But, I'm going to stay here. HD Kumaraswamy is our Chief Minister," Congress MLA Linganagouda Patil told news agency ANI earlier today.
"I don't know what they (BJP) are offering but they are trying to call our people, but they are not responding. We are all together, no one can touch our party. Our party MLAs are loyal to the party," ANI quoted JD (S) leader Sarvana as saying.