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Lok Sabha elections 2019: ‘Congress MLAs offered money, posts to defect,’ claims Kamal Nath

The chief minister was speaking to the media at the PCC office in Bhopal after a meeting of Congress MLAs and Lok Sabha candidates on Tuesday.

lok sabha elections Updated: May 21, 2019 21:07 IST
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Chief minister Kamal Nath has claimed that his MLAs have received calls from the BJP offering money to switch sides.(ANI Photo)

Chief minister Kamal Nath has claimed that his MLAs have received calls from the BJP offering money to switch sides.

As many as 10 Congress MLAs have received such a call, said Nath.

The chief minister was speaking to the media at the PCC office in Bhopal after a meeting of Congress MLAs and Lok Sabha candidates on Tuesday.

“Around 10 MLAs told me that they had received calls from BJP, offering them money and posts asking them to defect. This is not acceptable,” Nath said, but maintained that none of his legislators will desert the party. “I have full faith in my partymen.”

Though Nath did not reveal how much money was being offered, some of the MLAs who did not want to be identified, said they were being offered Rs 4 crore each.

Later, Cabinet minister Praduman Singh Tomar said, “The BJP is trying its best to lure MLAs as it had done in the past, but it will fail once again.”

Singh was referring to alleged attempts by the BJP to lure Congress MLAs just before the formation of the Congress government in January. At that time, senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh had said that the BJP was offering Rs 5-10 cr to each newly elected MLA to join the opposition ranks, while PWD minister Sajjan Singh Verma had alleged that attempts were being made to kidnap a Congress MLA.

At that time Digvijaya Singh had said that BJP leaders Narottam Mishra and Vishwas Sarang were behind these attempts, but both had rubbished these claims.

The bribe allegation comes soon after leader of opposition Gopal Bhargava writing to the governor Anandiben Patel demanding a special session of the assembly to discuss ‘burning issues’ of the state like drinking water, law and order and non-payment of farmers’ due.

Bhargava also told media that the Lok Sabha exit polls showed that the Congress had lost its mandate to rule, and he might demand a floor test during the special session. Most exit polls have predicted that of the 29 seats, the BJP is going to win at least 25.

Earlier, Kamal Nath had said that he was ready for any floor test. “We have proved our majority four times, we have no problem,” he had said.

In the 230 member Assembly, the Congress has 114 MLAs and it has formed the government with the support of four independents, two BSP and one SP MLA.

BJP spokesperson Rajneesh Agrawal said, “The results of the exit polls has frightened the Congress and they are making baseless allegations. The BJP is not offering money, but there are internal contradictions within the Congress which will lead to breakdown in the government.”

First Published: May 21, 2019 18:58 IST

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