Opposition Congress on Sunday accused the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party of trying to lure its lawmakers to switch sides by offering crores of rupees and posts, even as the BJP rubbished the allegation.
Talking to reporters, Goa Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) chief Girish Chodankar claimed that the legislators of his party were being offered different packages, including Rs 40 crore and chairmanship of any state-run corporation, to switch sides.
However, the BJP hit back saying the opposition party was failing to keep its flock together and levelling false charges.
“Congress MLAs are being offered three different packages by the BJP to switch sides. The first one is cash of Rs 40 crore and chairmanship of any state-run corporation. In addition, they will get Rs five crore to take care of their workers who might resist the MLA’s change of political affiliation,” Mr Chodankar said.
“The second package is Rs 20 crore and a cabinet rank, while the third one is Rs 60 crore to quit politics forever,” he added.
The Congress leader said, “I still hope our MLAs don’t succumb to the temptation offered by the BJP, though the Congress party cannot compete the packages offered by them…There is a problem and we need to find a solution for it.”
“The BJP gets money through ATMs like casinos and by indulging in corruption in the state-run Goa State Infrastructure Development Corporation,” he alleged.
Mr Chodankar said his party was doing its best to keep the flock together and was confident that all the MLAs would stay as a group by refusing to fall for the temptations.
Mr Chodankar’s allegations come in the wake of BJP Goa unit chief Vinay Tendulkar’s statement that four Congress MLAs were ready to switch sides.
Three MLAs – Vishwajit Rane, Dayanand Sopte and Subhash Shirodkar – had in the past quit the Congress and resigned from their assembly constituencies to join the BJP.
When contacted, Vinay Tendulkar rubbished Mr Chodankar’s charges.
“It is the Congress’ failure of keeping its MLAs intact is leading to their quitting the party. The MLAs always compare how the BJP has been party with the ideology and pro- development, due to which they get attracted here,” he said.
“Talks about paying to switch the sides are false,” he added.