Karnataka government formation: Kumaraswamy says BJP offering Rs 100 crore to JD (S) leaders

BENGALURU: Janata Dal (Secular) leader HD Kumaraswamy has defended his party's surprise alliance with the Congress and accused the Bharatiya Janata Party of trying to bribe Karnataka lawmakers after election results in the state threw up a hung house on Tuesday.

"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," said Kumaraswamy at a press conference in Bengaluru today.

"The BJP grabbed power in Meghalaya when they have didn't have the numbers, what right do they have to ask to form the government?" Kumaraswamy, who has been elected the JD(S) legislative party leader, was quoted by TV channels as saying.

The BJP emerged as the largest party in Karnataka and the Congress was voted out of power on Tuesday. But the political situation changed when the Congress and JD(S) announced a surprise alliance to form a government.

The Congress, which lost control of the national government to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, is desperate to cling on to Karnataka. Without it the party would control Punjab, the Union Territory of Puducherry and Mizoram, which together account for just 2.5% of India's 1.25 billion people.

The BJP rules 21 out of India's 29 states. Since its landslide national win in 2014, the Modi juggernaut has stormed northern India, claiming around a dozen crushing victories. Karnataka is the only southern state the has ever held power in. After falling out with N Chandrababu Naidu in Andhra Pradesh, the party is working to form a government in Karnataka to regain a gateway to its southern ambitions.

The JD(S) is the third big political player in Karnataka but it has just 38 MLAs. With the Congress's support it's pitching to rule the state.

(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.)


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