New Delhi: Amid the ongoing crisis in Karnataka, CT Ravi, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA from Chikkamagaluru said that his party will add fuel to speculations that there is dissidence within the ruling Congress-JDS coalition. Notably his comments came after BJP state president BS Yeddyurappa dismissed allegations of ‘Operation Lotus’.

‘Operation Lotus’ is a reference to BJP’s alleged bid to lure several opposition MLAs to defect to ensure stability of its then government headed by Yeddyurappa in 2008.

“Of course we will add fuel to the fire within the Congress and JDS because we should have had the opportunity to form the government. This is politics. We are not here to do charity,” a leading portal quoted Ravi, general secretary of Karnataka BJP as saying.

He asked,”When Siddaramaiah joined Congress in 2005-2006,  was it auction or purchase? Cheluvarayaswamy, H C Balakrishna, Zameer Ahmed and others defeated the JD(S) candidate and indulged in cross-voting to support the Congress candidate. What was their going price? In 1999, seven JD(S) MLAs switched to the Congress. Was that a wholesale or retail deal?”

Karnataka is witnessing a political turmoil following charges of horse trading flung at each other by the ruling coalition and the BJP amid speculation that about six MLAs are ready to jump ship to the BJP side. The Congress has, however, dismissed reports, saying they are ‘intact’.

Meanwhile, a crucial Congress Legislature Party (CLP) meet is scheduled to happen in Bengaluru today.  The meeting is said to be a show of strength for the Congress, in a counter to the BJP’s alleged bid to topple the ruling coalition government in the state.

Issuing a notice to Congress MLAs, CLP leader and former chief minister Siddaramaiah said that absence of MLAs at meeting would be viewed ‘seriously’.  “I would like to bring to your notice that your absence will be viewed seriously and it will be considered that you have voluntarily decided to leave the primary membership of the Indian National Congress,” he had said.