In what comes as a major embarrassment for the BJP, its MLA Shrimant Balasaheb on Sunday said that he was offered money to leave the Congress and join the saffron party before the toppling of the Congress-JDS government in Karnataka.
I have joined BJP without taking any offer of money. I was offered money to join the party. I could have asked for as much as I wanted. I did not ask for money, I asked them to give me a minister’s post to serve the people,” Patil said.
Patil said the offer was made during Operation Lotus when MLAs from other parties joined the BJP which subsequently brought the BS Yediyurappa government to power.
“I do not know why I was not given a ministership in the present government. But I have been promised that I will get a minister’s post in the next expansion. I had a word with Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai,” he added.
Shrimant Patil is an MLA from Kagwad Assembly constituency in Karnataka. He was initially associated with Congress but changed camp in July 2019. He was also one of the 16 MLAs who joined BJP from Congress and Janata Dal Secular (JDS) leading to the fall of the coalition government led by then Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy.
After the Yediyurappa government formed in the state, he was given a ministerial berth. However, he was dropped from the cabinet after BS Yediyurappa resigned and Basavaraj Bommai became the chief minister.
Meanwhile, the first session of the Karnataka legislature, after the change of guard in the state, will begin here from Monday, as opposition parties are all set to corner the government on a host of issues including price rise, law and order situation, handling of Covid-19 pandemic, implementation of National Education Policy, among others. The ten-day monsoon session is the first for Basavaraj Bommai, as the Chief Minister and his new cabinet, which took charge following the exit of state BJP strongman B S Yediyurappa in July-end.
The legislature session will be held from September 13 to 24. This monsoon session is being held by following Covid-19 guidelines. The previous session was the budget session, which ended on March 24.