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.
BJP in Karnataka has been shifting all its 104 MLAs to the National Capital Region over the last two days even as CM HD Kumaraswamy alleged that as part of ‘ Operation Lotus 3:0 ‘, the opposition party was conspiring to poach Congress-JD(S) MLAs to dislodge his government. The BJP MLAs were scheduled to meet party chief Amit Shah in Delhi on Sunday and return to Bengaluru on Monday.
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.”
A senior MLA who is in Yeddyurappa’s inner circle claimed the party has already enlisted the support of 12 Congress MLAs and is waiting for the support of another four to five legislators. “This time, you will see some result,” he said, expressing confidence that BJP will succeed in either forming its government or forcing a midterm assembly election along with the Lok Sabha polls.
Attacking BSY, Kumaraswamy said in Mysuru, “There is no doubt Operation Lotus 3.0 has started. BJP has been desperately trying to lure our MLAs. I know how much money and what gifts are being offered. I also have the information in whose name BJP had booked rooms in Mumbai.”
Kumaraswamy alleged BJP is tapping JD(S) MLAs, too. The CM told TOI that BJP leaders Jagadish Shettar, CN Ashwanthnarayan and Aravind Limbavalli had contacted a JD(S) MLA on Monday evening. “The offer is Rs 50 crore, a minister’s post and Rs 30 crore to contest the polls as the JD(S) MLA has to resign and contest again. This indicates the extent to which BJP is stooping to lure MLAs,” he said. “Don’t (you) think I cannot make some BJP MLAs resign? But I don’t want to misuse my power,” the CM said.
Rebutting the charges, BSY said: “It is not us but they who have started horse trading using money and power. They have been trying to contact our MLAs. One of our MLAs from Kalaburagi district has been offered a ministerial berth by Kumaraswamy himself.” He asserted that all 104 BJP MLAs are united.