BJP trashes horse-trading charges in Maharashtra

State BJP spokesperson Keshav Upadhye said such a practice is not part of the party's culture | File photo

The BJP in Maharashtra on Friday (November 8) strongly refuted allegations that it was engaging in horse- trading and offering money to MLAs of other parties to switch sides.

Earlier today, Congress leader Vijay Wadettiwar alleged that sums of “₹25 crore to ₹50 crore” were being offered to MLAs to switch sides in Maharashtra.

Condemning Wadettiwar’s statement, state BJP spokesperson Keshav Upadhye said such a practice is not part of the party’s culture.

Wadettiwar had claimed that Congress MLAs, too, have been contacted over the phone with such offers.

The Leader of Opposition in the outgoing Assembly said the Shiv Sena has claimed one of its MLAs was offered ₹50 crore to switch sides. “Our MLAs are also being contacted. Attempts are being made to lure away MLAs with offers of ₹25 to ₹50 crore,” he alleged while talking to reporters here.

“We have told our MLAs to record such calls so that people of the state know about them,” he said.

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The Congress leader accused the BJP of taking politics to a new low. However, the BJP has denied allegations it was trying to wean away MLAs from other parties. Wadettiwar denied reports that Congress MLAs are being shifted to Jaipur.

“Some (MLAs) may have gone to unwind after the hard work put in elections,” he said.

Wadettiwar was speaking to reporters at his official residence here ahead of a meeting of MLAs later in the day.

The BJP, which emerged as the single largest party in the October 21 Assembly polls winning 105 seats, and its ally Shiv Sena, distant second largest with 56 seats, have not staked claim to form a government together or separately till now.

The two parties, which contested the election under the aegis of Mahayuti, are bickering over sharing chief ministerial post since October 24, when the poll results was out.

The NCP and the Congress won 54 and 44 seats, respectively, in the election to the 288-member assembly where the majority mark is 145.

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