With no end in sight of the standoff between Bharatiya Janata Party and the Shiv Sena, Maharashtra edged closer to President’s Rule on Friday amidst reports that even Congress had flown its MLAs to Jaipur to escape ‘Operation Kamala’.
BJP, which was accused of ‘buying’ MLAs in Karnataka as part of its ‘ Operation Lotus’, has now been accused of offering sums between ₹30 to ₹50 Crore to each MLA of the Shiv Sena, Congress and possibly the NCP to switch sides or abstain from voting for the confidence motion as and when it is tabled.
A portal Kattanews.com reported on Friday, “ Maharashtra Congress president Balasaheb Thorat had confirmed to kattanews.com that the Congress lawmakers were sought to be poached by the BJP as a part of their Operation Kamala in Maharashtra.”
“We have to protect our MLAs from this unethical practice exercised by the BJP. BJP has huge money and they want to buy our MLAs. They were successful in Karnataka, but we will not allow them to succeed in Maharashtra. Maharashtra is altogether a different land. It is the land of Maratha warrior Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and great social reformers and saints like Mahatma Phule, Dr BR Ambedkar, Saint Dyaneshwar and Namdeo and others. Most of the progressive thoughts and tradition started here,” Thorat held before adding, “Shiv Sena is not budging. So, during President’s Rule, BJP will use all sorts of pressure, resources and allurement to get the numbers.”
“Shiv Sena had already shifted its MLAs to a luxury hotel in Mumbai itself. One of the Sena MLA was offered ₹50 Crore by the BJP either to switch sides or to remain absent during the vote of confidence on the floor of the House,” said Vijay Wadettiwar, Leader of Opposition and the Congress MLA,” the portal reported.
Vijay Wadettiwar said, “We have not moved our MLAs anywhere, all our MLAs are at their locations. If some of our MLAs have gone to any place it might be a personal visit.”
BJP has up to midnight on Friday to form the government. But although it is the single largest party, having won 105 seats in the House of 288, it was yet to stake its claim till Friday Noon.
BJP needs 145 MLAs to form the Government and it has already secured the support of 15 Independent MLAs, which puts the tally at 120. It will have to secure the support of at least 25 other MLAs from Shiv Sena, Congress or the NCP to prove its majority.