Even as Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Janata Dal (Secular)-Congress alliance are slugging it out to form the government in Karnataka, after it gave a fractured mandate in the state Assembly elections on Tuesday, former Jammu and Kashmir Omar Abdullah said that defecting MLAs “should be barred from fighting elections for a period of not less than 1 term”.

In a series of tweets, Omar Abdullah said “Simply disqualifying defecting MLAs isn’t enough to stop horse trading since most of them come back with a mandate of their newly discovered party. They should be barred from fighting elections for a period of not less than 1 term.”

“Is there anyone (OK, except diehard BJP card holders) who disagrees with my assertion that had the BJP been teaming up with the JD(S) to keep the Congress out the Governor would have sworn in a government last night itself?”, he said in another tweet.

While replying to a tweet, Abdullah said, “I’m not a congress card holder, never have been and I don’t disagree with you. Tell me then, how does that make the BJP better than the Congress? You are as bad as each other & use Raj Bhavan as your personal play grounds”.

Omar was apparently referring to the post-poll situation in Karnataka where the BJP has staked claim to form the government despite being seven short of simple majority.

On the other hand, JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy also has staked claim to form the government with Congress’ support as the two parties have a combined strength of 115 MLAs.

Also read | Karnataka polls: Mamata congratulates winners; Omar says ‘Et Tu Karnataka’

On Wednesday, at a press conference, JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy accused the BJP of offering Rs 100 core cash to each of his lawmakers in a bid to sway them away.

Must read | BJP offered our MLAs Rs 100 crore each: Kumaraswamy

Asserting that there is no question of forming an alliance with the BJP, Kumaraswamy said, “JD(S) MLAs are being offered Rs 100 crore each. Where is this black money coming from? They are supposedly the servers of poor people and they are offering money today. Where are the income tax officials? I want to ask a question that whether BJP and our honourable PM believe in horse trading.”

“Will the governor encourage ‘horse-trading’ or uphold democracy? It saddens me that I am not going to be the chief minister of a majority party but we should fight for democracy, no matter what,” he added.