JD(S) and Congress MPs from Karnataka on Thursday accused the BJP of trying to “blackmail” their MLAs by offering them Rs 30-40 crore to resign in a bid to topple the coalition government and said they have “all proof” to support their allegation.
Addressing a press conference, the MPs alleged that in the last six months, the saffron party made several attempts to “force” the legislators of the JD(S) and the Congress to defect from their parties.
They demanded a probe into the alleged horse trading.
“Some legislators were kept in Mumbai under the pressure of goons and police. They were not allowed to go to their constituencies. They were blackmailed. They were forced to resign,” Congress MP D K Suresh told reporters.
He alleged that the BJP-ruled Maharashtra and central governments are pressuring some Karnataka MLAs and threatening to “finish” their political career if they did not support them.
“A video of money being offered by them (BJP) and all documents will be released at the right time, after consulting legal experts,” he said.
Suresh also said that the coalition partners will insist President Ram Nath Kovind to set up a separate investigation team to probe the alleged horse trading in Karnataka.
D Kupendra Reddy of the JD(S) attacked the BJP for not allowing the coalition government to function. “The BJP’s state unit thinks it’s the largest party. But there have been instances where NDA had run the government with the help of several parties. Don’t weaken the government, else the people will teach you,” he added.
V S Ugrappa of the Congress alleged that there’s a threat to democracy and the Constitution and Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his team were responsible for it.
“We have CDs and other documents, we will release them at an appropriate time,” he said. Congress’s L Hanumanthaiah said, “In Karnataka, they (BJP) are auctioning legislators. We have proof, we will give. The time will come. Proof will be given.”
“They have the Enforcement Directorate and all agencies, let them probe and say what we are saying is wrong. They are not courageous to do so because they are involved in the activity,” he alleged, adding the Congress will raise the matter in Parliament.
JDS’ Shivarame Gowda and Congress’s Dhruv Narayan, B N Chandrappa and G C Chandrashekhar were among the MPs present at the press meet that came a day after nine Congress MLAs ignored party whip and skipped the legislature session on Wednesday, keeping the ruling coalition on tenterhooks on the opening day of the budget session in Karnataka.
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