Bengaluru: Ongoing discussions on the confidence motion in the Karnataka Legislative Assembly took an ugly turn on Friday, with Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) or JD(S) legislators claiming that they were offered crores of rupees to switch loyalties by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
The allegations come at a time when at least 16 coalition legislators have been lodged in a Mumbai hotel purportedly on behest of the BJP.
JD(S) legislator Srinivas Gowda said he was offered ₹5 crore to switch sides.
He named two BJP legislators — Ashwath Narayan and S.R. Vishwanth — and one former legislator (C.P. Yogeshwar) of visiting his house and offering the money.
Several other coalition legislators made similar allegations against the BJP.
Assembly speaker K.R. Ramesh Kumar said he will put all allegations on record, and "all the filth should come out" before the people.
"The business of the house is business," Kumar said, lamenting the revelations of horse trading and further plummeting Karnataka' political discourse that is inching closer to a constitutional crisis.
Legislators from all three parties have lodged their legislators in plush resorts around Bengaluru to shield them from poaching attempts by rival parties.
The BJP is demanding that the H.D. Kumaraswamy-led government hold the trust vote and even spent the night in the assembly on Thursday.
Sixteen Congress and JD(S) legislators have resigned since 1 July and two more have withdrawn support to the government pushing the one year old Kumaraswamy led coalition government toward an imminent collapse.
However, at least 20 legislators that include the 15 lodged in Mumbai, did not attend the ongoing monsoon session that is discussing the confidence motion, moved by the chief minister.
The Congress had alleged that its legislator, Srimant Balasaheb Patil, had been kidnapped by the BJP. Kumar read out an email, purportedly sent by Patil, informing the speaker of his absence and dismissing reports that he had been kidnapped.
The coalition finds itself in a difficult position if the trust vote is held as it does not enjoy the numbers in the house. Karnataka Governor Vaju Bai Vala, on Thursday, wrote to Kumaraswamy asking his to prove his majority in the house by 1.30 PM on Friday.