Karnataka Water Resource Minister DK Shivakumar on Sunday, 13 January, said that the BJP’s ‘Operation Lotus’ to topple the state’s coalition government was for real and that three Congress MLAs were camping in a Mumbai hotel in the “company of some BJP leaders.”
“Horse trading is going on in the state. Three of our MLAs are in Mumbai in a hotel with some BJP MLAs and leaders. We are aware of what has transpired there and how much has been offered to them,” he said.
Meanwhile, Karnataka BJP President BS Yeddyurappa has said that there is “no truth to all these rumours.”
“There is no truth to all these rumours. This is between Congress and JDS. We are not in touch with any of their MLAs. We are only focused on keeping our MLAs energised.”BS Yeddyurappa, BJP President to ANI
BJP MLAs, including Yeddyurappa will hold a meeting in Delhi later in the day, to discuss Lok Sabha elections and ongoing political developments in the state, reported ANI.
Govt Not Under Threat: Kumaraswamy
Meanwhile, Kumaraswamy, reacting to the situation said:
“All three of them (Congress MLAs) are continuously in contact with me. They went to Mumbai after informing me. My government isn’t under any threat. I know who all BJP is trying to contact and what they’re offering. I can handle it, why should media be concerned,” Kumaraswamy told ANI.
‘Operation Lotus’ is a reference to the BJP allegedly luring several opposition MLAs to defect to ensure stability of its then-government headed by BS Yeddyurappa in Karnataka in 2008.
Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara said that the MLAs could have gone for “temples, holiday, family outings,” but that they were all “intact.”
“BJP leaders are saying this government will fall. But that won’t happen. Some of our MLAs have gone…they can go for temples, holiday, family outings. We don’t know. Nobody said that they are going to join the BJP and destabilise the government. All our MLAs are intact.”G Parameshwara, Deputy CM, Karnataka
Shivakumar Accuses Kumaraswamy of Being ‘Lenient’
Shivakumar, who had earned the reputation of being a “trouble-shooter” in the Congress for bailing out the party from many crises in the past, accused Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy of being “lenient” towards the BJP.
“Our chief minister is bit lenient towards the BJP. By ‘lenient’, I mean he is not exposing the facts he knows. All the MLAs have conveyed to the chief minister about the ongoing conspiracies. They have also told Siddaramaiah about it.”
“The chief minister is adopting a policy of wait and watch. If I was in his place, I would have exposed it within 24 hours.”DK Shivakumar
The minister said former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Congress state President Dinesh Gundu Rao were aware of the development.
‘BJP Would Not Succeed in Their Attempt’
Shivakumar, however, exuded confidence that the BJP would not succeed in its attempt.
“You have been saying that a ‘kranti’ (revolution) may happen after Makar Sankranti. Let us see. It is not so easy because there is already anti-defection law in place, but we are aware of what you are hinting at,” he said in an apparent reference to the opposition BJP in the state.
The water resources minister also wondered why the income tax department and the anti-corruption bureau failed to initiate any action on a complaint by Dinesh Gundu Rao on the matter.
“We do not know what progress these two agencies have made so far, but sitting on the complaint by a political party is not good,” he said.
Many Congress MLAs in the southern state have alleged that they were approached by the BJP leaders to quit their party and join them.
The saffron party has trashed the charges, saying the coalition partners were hiding their shortcomings and internal strife by making false accusations at the Opposition.
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