Hours after Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy alleged that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was trying to lure MLAs of the ruling combine, the Opposition party made a counter attack accusing Congress-JD(S) of horse-trading, leading to a fresh political war in the state.
As the coalition government and the BJP levelled charges against each other, Kumaraswamy rubbished reports of an “instability” in his government, saying, “I have sufficient numbers for giving a stable government here, it is not necessary for Congress or JD(S) to poach the MLAs from BJP, we have sufficient numbers.”
BJP Karnataka president BS Yeddyurappa also refuted claims that his party was attempting ‘Operation Lotus’ to topple the government and in return, alleged that the the Congress-JD(S) combine was, in fact, trying to woo his party MLAs with bribes and other allurements.
He asserted that its 104 legislators are “united” and will camp in the national capital. The BJP MLAs had come to Delhi two days ago to take part in a national conference of the party ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.
“It is not us, they [JDS-Congress] have started horse-trading. We will stay in Delhi one or two days because Kumaraswamy is trying his level best to contact our MLAs and horse-trading has started,” Yeddyurappa said.
BSY also said that the BJP is “alert and careful” and accused Kumaraswamy of trying to lure the BJP MLAs using “power and money” despite having the majority number. “Kumaraswamy is trying to contact BJP MLAs and has offered a ministerial post to a Kalburgi MLA.”
Yeddyurappa later said that some of his MLAs are going to Gurgaon and will stay put in hotels in Gurugram and Noida, fearing poaching by the Congress and the JD(S). “We’re not scared that they will cross over,” Yeddyurappa said.
On Sunday (January 13), Karnataka Water Resources Minister DK Shivakumar claimed that three Congress MLAs were camping at a hotel in Mumbai in the “company of some BJP leaders”. “We are aware of what has transpired there and how much has been offered to them,” Shivakumar said.
Downplaying the speculation that six to eight Congress MLAs are ready to jump ship to the BJP side and the latter was attempting to topple his government in the state, HD Kumaraswmay said that there was no threat to the Congress-JD(S) dispensation. He, however, reiterated that the BJP was in fact trying to poach his MLAs.
While the BJP is accusing is accusing Congress-JD(S) of poaching its MLAs, Karnataka Congress chief Dinesh Gundu Rao told India Today TV in an exclusive interview that “four to five” BJP MLAs were “in touch” and were “keen” to join his party.
Asserting “zero risk” to the Congress government, Karnataka Home Minister MB Patil told India Today TV that BJP MLAs would “join us if need be” and claimed that “they are not happy in BJP”. MB Patil also said that the Congress MLAs, who are in Mumbai, are in touch with him and would be back in a day or two.
Reports are rife that the BJP will move a no-confidence motion next week. BJP sources said the party is in contact with 10 Congress and three JD(S) MLAs. The BJP is trying to get these and other MLAs to resign, following which it will move a no-confidence motion next week.
With inputs from agencies