Here’s everything you need to know about HD Kumaraswamy and his Rs 100 crore claim
In a shocking allegation, Janata Dal (Secular) (JD(S)) chief HD Kumaraswamy claimed that the BJP offered Rs 100 crore in cash to some of his party’s members. Speaking to reporters in Bengaluru, Kumaraswamy added that the BJP had attempted to poach 32 MLA but none of them agreed. “If the BJP indulges in horse trading I will not sit quiet. I am not a Sanyasi to keep quiet and watch the proceedings,” he said. “I would like to tell the Governor that he should not allow horse trading.” Kumaraswamy also warned that if the BJP attempts at Operation Lotus once more, it would fail. Union minister Prakash Javadekar refuted Kumaraswamy’s claims, terming it ‘imaginary.’
Kumaraswamy was the 18th Chief Minister of Karnataka, ruling between 2006 and 2007. His father HD Deve Gowda is a former Prime Minister of the country. Following the 2004 elections, when the assembly was hung, the Congress and JDS forged a tie-up to set up a government led by N Dharam Singh of Congress. The Congress-JD(S) alliance was short-lived and JD(S)formed an alliance with the BJP to set up a coalition government. It was agreed that Kumaraswamy would be CM for half the term. However, Kumaraswamy had a master plan up his sleeve and did not hold his end of the bargain. The government failed as he refused to hand over power to BJP.
During his term as Chief Minister of Karnataka, he was involved in a major mining scam, in a bid to help a privately owned company called Janthakal Enterprise. Reports say that he pressurized a senior bureaucrat to renew the firm’s license to mine in 2007. The case was dismissed by the Karnataka High Court due to lack of evidence.
Kumaraswamy’s marriage to his second wife Radhika is also a matter of much scrutiny. A PIL filed by Shashidhar Belagumbe, an advocate in Karnataka, alleged that the JD(S) leader married the actress while he was still married to his first wife, Anitha. "The second marriage amounts to bigamy, which is in violation of the law. The second marriage is illegal under Section 494 of the IPC. Any violation prescribes punishment of up to seven years and a fine," said Belagumbe.
Besides being a politician, Kumaraswamy is also a film producer and distributor. He is popularly known as CD Kumara as he exposed other parties by releasing video CDs.
With regards to Operation Lotus, it was a political move employed by the BJP in 2008 when it was not a majority. The party poached 6 JD(S) members and Congress MLAs by making them resign from their assembly memberships. They were later allowed to contest under BJP’s colours.
Allegations and counter allegations notwithstanding, Kumaraswamy asserted that he would form the next government in Karnataka with Congress support.