New Delhi: In a fresh political drama in Karnataka just ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP on Monday flew its 104 lawmakers to the national capital and later to a resort in neighbouring Gurugram, while reported suggested that six to eight Congress MLAs are ready to cross over to the BJP and some lawmakers of the ruling Congress-JDS coalition have gone incommunicado.
As the Congress-JDS combine accused the BJP of luring away its MLAs offering bribes and other allurements, BJP state chief B S Yeddyurappa rubbished reports his party was attempting ‘Operation Lotus’ to topple the state government. ‘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.
He said there was no truth in the charge and instead alleged that the Congress-JD(S) combine was trying to woo his party MLAs.
“It is not us, but 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 told reporters after meeting state BJP MLAs and MPs in Delhi.
The BJP is “alert and careful” as the chief minister is trying to lure our MLAs using “power and money”, he said.
“Kumaraswamy is trying to contact BJP MLAs and has offered a ministerial post to a Kalburgi MLA,” Yeddyurappa alleged and said the ruling combine is luring BJP state legislators despite having majority numbers.
Congress also said that Yeddyurappa was making “futile attempts” to destabilise his government.
In the 224-member Assembly, BJP has 104 members, Congress-79, JDS 37, BSP, KPJP and Independent one each, besides Speaker. BSP, KPJP and an Independent are supporting the coalition.
Kumaraswamy said he enjoyed the support of 120 MLAs and alleged that Yeddyurappa was making “futile attempts” to destabilise his government.
“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,” he said in Bengaluru.
“In which BJP MLAs name rooms were reserved in which resort, how many rooms were reserved.How many Congress-JD(S) they were making attempts to lure and take them away..Don’t I have the information,” he said.
“The coalition government enjoys support of 120 MLAs,” he said.
He also said, “I have noticed reports in sections of the media (about ‘Operation Lotus’). Today too I saw a media report stating that on January 17, President’s rule will be imposed in the state.
“I don’t know who is feeding such reports to the media.. I was surprised to see the report.”
Asked about Water Resource Minister D K Shivakumar’s claim that three Congress MLAs were camping at a hotel in Mumbai in the “company of some BJP leaders”, Kumaraswamy said they were in constant touch with him.
Not revealing their names, he said “They are my friends. Those MLAs in Mumbai or 104 BJP MLAs who are in Delhi are all my people, so there is no question of instability to this government.”