Mumbai, November 16: A Shiv Sena MLA from Kannad constituency has claimed that a senior BJP minister in Maharashtra had offered him Rs 5 crore to join the saffron party. The BJP, however, termed the claim as "baseless".
"When I met BJP minister Chandrakant Patil at his official residence near Mantralaya late last month, he made me the offer," Harshwardhan Jadhav, MLA told a Marathi news channel.
"Patil told me that the BJP was frustrated with the Shiv Sena due to their bickerings and was looking at getting rid of that party by increasing the number of BJP MLAs," Jadhav alleged.
"Patil told me: we are trying to give every Sena MLA Rs 5 crore to quit that party and contest the bypoll as BJP nominee," he said.
"The Rs 5 crore offer was for election expenditure," he added. "The minister made the same offer to me...I feel he gave this offer to all Sena MLAs," Jadhav said.
"Patil told me that if I do not get elected, I will be fielded (by the BJP) for the legislative council polls," he said. Meanwhile, the BJP accused the Sena MLA of indulging in a farce.
"All these are baseless charges. BJP does not need to do such things...Compared to Jadhav, Patil enjoys the trust of people of Maharashtra," state BJP spokesperson Madhav Bhandari said. "What Jadhav has claimed is a nautanki (farce)," he said.
Asked if defamation proceedings will be initiated against Jadhav, the BJP spkesperson said, "Definitely. We will consider this."