BJP denies horse-trading allegations in Maharashtra

State BJP spokesperson Keshav Upadhye’s assertion came after Congress leader Vijay Wadettiwar alleged sums of “₹25 crore to ₹50 crore” were being offered to MLAs to switch sides in Maharashtra

Updated - November 08, 2019 01:48 pm IST

Published - November 08, 2019 01:46 pm IST - Mumbai

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

State BJP spokesperson Keshav Upadhye said such a practice is not part of the party’s culture.

His assertion came after Congress leader Vijay Wadettiwar alleged sums of “₹25 crore to ₹50 crore” were being offered to MLAs to switch sides in Maharashtra, where the formation of a new government is in a limbo due to fight between the BJP and the Shiv Sena over sharing of power.

When contacted, Mr. Upadhye told PTI , “There is no question of the BJP going for horse-trading as it is not our culture.”

There have been allegations of BJP leaders, through intermediaries, making “offers” to newly-elected Congress MLAs to switch sides.

Mr. Upadhye termed such allegations as baseless.

Commenting on Mr. Wadettiwar’s allegation of party’s Igatpuri (Nashik district) legislator being offered a hefty ₹50 crore, Mr. Upadhye said it shows the frustration of the country’s oldest party.

“The Congress some decades back had won more than 200 seats. In the last few elections, the party has not been able to perform well and this time it could not even win 50 seats. It is their frustration that is pushing them to make baseless allegations,” the BJP spokesman said.

The BJP and the Shiv Sena will “soon” stake claim to form government, he maintained when asked about the fortnight- long deadlock between the saffron allies over sharing power.

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

The two parties are bickering over sharing chief ministerial post since October 24, when the poll results were declared.

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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