AMID NO breakthrough in the stalemate between BJP and Shiv Sena over government formation, Congress leader Vijay Wadettiwar on Friday claimed that sums of “Rs 25 crore to Rs 50 crore” were being offered by the BJP to party MLAs to switch sides in Maharashtra.
“Some of our MLAs have been approached by BJP. We got information about this and have asked our MLAs to record these calls as evidence. I am sure that none of our MLA will switch over because if anyone does, we will put up a combined Opposition candidate against that person and ensure that he never wins an election,” Wadettiwar told mediapersons.
He went on to name Congress’ Igatpuri MLA Hiraman Hoskar as one of those who had received such a call.
When contacted, Khoskar claimed that he had not received a call from any political leader but from intermediaries. “I have not received any call. However, I was approached by certain intermediaries who are known to me… they asked me to come to Mumbai, claiming that they wanted to discuss the polticial situation in the state. I found it suspicious and declined to do so. I have informed my party leaders about this.”
Wadettiwar, meanwhile, denied reports that Congress MLAs are being shifted to Jaipur. “Our MLAs are safe and we are taking care of them. As far as some MLAs going to Jaipur, the party has nothing to do with it. They may have gone on their own for a private trip. The last few months have been demanding and they may have gone to relax,” he added.
NCP leader Nawab Malik had also claimed that party leaders were being approached to swap sides.
The BJP, however, dismissed the allegations and maintained that it would not indulge in horse trading. “I have been seeing news reports in which various people are accusing BJP of trying to buy MLAs. I challenge these people to prove their accusations,” Acting Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said.
BJP leader also claimed that nobody from the BJP is in contact with legislators from either the Congress, NCP or Sena. “Congress and NCP are spreading false information. Either they should provide proof of our so called attempts to engineer defections or tender apology for insulting their own MLAs… Those making such claims should provide the call records of the BJP trying to poach their MLAs,” he added.
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