BIDAR: In a new twist to the cash-for-votes sting operation by two television channels ahead of next week’s polls to Rajya Sabha, JD (S) legislator Mallikarjun Khuba, who allegedly demanded Rs 5 crores to vote for the Congress candidate, said he wantonly did so to get even with some leaders of the ruling Congress who were trying to frame him and his party colleagues.
Mr Khuba said in an interview “A Congress leader introduced me to a guy whom I met to discuss the deal in Delhi. This was before finalization of the names of contestants. I will not deny that. The guy told me he was ready to pay between `2 to five crores if I voted for a particular candidate. I have not become a victim of the sting operation as made out in the media. On the contrary, I took part in the operation with full knowledge and with a view to find out the real big shots behind the deal. I have a cassette which I will release in a day or two.”
Accusing the Congress of doing everything to destroy and divide JD (S), Mr Khuba contended that he took part in the sting operation as a “decoy” to expose the Congress. “As you can see in the video, I was not serious while talking because I knew the game plan. I have recorded what all I said during discussion, and will release it in a day or two,” he added.
Answering a question, Mr Khuba claimed that he had alerted Mr Kumaraswamy about discussion of the deal, and got a go-ahead from him. “It is not the first time that these kinds of discussions for striking deals has taken place. In the past, during the JD (S) –BJP coalition government, similar talks were held. Then too we remained loyal to the party. Now also we will abide by the stand of our party,” he added.