BJP’s Karnataka MLA Shrimant Patil has ruffled quite a few feathers with his revelation that the saffron party had offered him money to switch loyalties from the Congress in 2019, even though he was at pains to clarify later that “it was the wrong use of words. No one tried to lure me. I voluntarily came to the BJP because of my principles”.
The BJP had toppled the state’s previous JDS-Congress government when 16 MLAs including Patil went over to the party.
Patil informed the media in Belagavi district on Saturday: “They asked me how much money I wanted, but I refused the money and asked them to give me a good position after the government is formed. I have joined the BJP without taking money. Now, they have promised to consider my name when there will be a cabinet expansion,” he said. Patil was given a minister’s post in the BS Yediyurappa cabinet after he joined the BJP but was dropped when the party appointed Basavaraj Bommai as the chief minister this year.
While Patil, a Congress candidate in the 2018 Karnataka elections, said the offer was made during Operation Lotus, the BJP has consistently denied the Congress and JDS’s allegation that it bought the MLAs.
Karnataka Congress leader DK Shivakumar took up the issue again on Twitter in the wake of Patil’s statement, asking for a probe into the matter. “Shrimant Patil has spoken the truth. The BJP had indeed attempted to lure Sri Shrimant Patil, a former minister using Operation Kamala. I congratulate him for speaking up on this matter. The ACB must immediately investigate this and take action against those who subvert,” he tweeted.