Bengaluru: Holding as true claims of a party colleague in Karnataka that an Independent MLA had been abducted by the BJP a day ago, the Congress on Tuesday accused the saffron party of engineering the crisis in the state. (Catch LIVE Updates of Karnataka Crisis Here)

Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said the BJP appointed its Chief Ministers “in bars and restaurants”. On Monday, photos of H Nagesh, an Independent MLA who resigned came out as he boarded a flight for Mumbai.

Accompanying him were two more men, one of them reportedly being the personal assistant of Karnataka BJP President BS Yeddyurappa. BJP leaders, including Yeddyurappa, have gone on record to say they have nothing to do with the resignations galore in the Congress-Janata Dal Secular coalition. But the Congress is holding up those airport photos as proof that the saffron party is involved.

“There is a BJP hand in the Karnataka crisis. Yeddyurappa’s PA was in the plane with rebel MLAs. BJP appoints Chief Ministers in bars and restaurants. They have done this before in Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh,” Ghulam Nabi Azad was quoted as saying by a leading portal.

On Monday, Karnataka minister and Congress leader DK Shivakumar had said that Nagesh had called him to complain about how he was being “hijacked”.

“Just now Nagesh called me and said that he has been hijacked by Yeddyurappa’s personal attendant and the BJP. By the time I reached airport the flight had left,” Shivakumar had said to reporters.

Shivakumar also flew to Mumbai, where the dissident lawmakers were taken and put up in a five-star hotel after their resignation. The MLAs were moved to Pune and then Goa.

If the Speaker accepts all resignations, the Congress-JDS coalition’s number would be down to 103. The BJP has 105 members and the support of the two Independents, taking its tally to 107.