Updated: September 13, 2021 7:00:16 am
The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Karnataka is likely to face embarrassment after former minister and Kagwad MLA Shrimant Patil revealed that the party had offered him cash to switch over from the Congress two years ago.
Patil was among the 16 MLAs who had switched over to the BJP from the Congress and JD(S) in 2019, triggering the fall of the HD Kumaraswamy-led coalition government.
“They asked me how much money I wanted, but I refused the money and asked them to give me a good position after the government is formed. I have joined the BJP without taking money. Now, they have promised to consider my name when there will be a cabinet expansion,” he said.
Speaking to media persons at Ainapur in Belagavi’s Kagwad taluk Saturday, Patil said the offer was made during Operation Lotus when MLAs from other parties joined the BJP which subsequently brought the BS Yediyurappa government to power.
Patil had won as a Congress candidate in the 2018 assembly elections, but contested the bypolls after his switch to the BJP. Having won again, he was made a minister in the Yediyurappa government only to be dropped from the Cabinet after current Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai took over.
The saffron party has long been denying accusations by the Congress and JD(S) of “buying” their MLAs. Patil’s statement is likely to cause much embarrassment to the party, especially with the next Assembly session about to start on Monday.
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