The high-octane natak (drama) in Karnataka continues on Saturday as the Congress sets the house in order and BJP shifts its MLAs back to Bengaluru from Gurugram. BJP state president BS Yeddyurappa has reportedly asked his MLAs, who were staying at a hotel in Haryana's Gurugram to come back to Bengaluru, even as Congress is seeking an urgent reply form four of its MLAs for skipping crucial party meet on Friday.
Exposing chinks in the ruling coalition in Karnataka, four dissidents Friday skipped the Congress Legislature Party meeting in Bengaluru that was called as a show of strength against an alleged bid by the BJP to dislodge the HD Kumaraswamy government.
The absence of four lawmakers posed no imminent threat to the seven-month old Congress-JDS government in the numbers game but suggested that all was not well within the Congress which is still wrestling with dissidence.
In the 224-member Assembly, BJP has 104 members, Congress-79, JDS 37, BSP, KPJP and Independent one each, besides Speaker. BSP is supporting the government.
Here are the Highlights from political turmoil in Karnataka:
12:26 pm: 'All BJP MLAs are united': All BJP MLAs are united, they will return today. Congress has no plans for development of Karnataka, gradually 20-25 MLAs will leave Congress. Siddaramaiah lost the CM post. Since then, he has become like a 'pagal' that is why he is targeting BS Yeddyurappa, says KS Eshwarappa, BJP
11:30 am: Congress MLAs likely to remain at Eagleton for two days: According to sources, the Congress may keep its MLAs at Bengaluru's Eagleton resort for next two days to allegedly avert BJP's attempts of horsetrading. It is also being said that during the two-day stay senior party leaders will have a one-on-one meeting with each MLA to listen and address their grievances so that there can be no future problem or situation where another party can bribe them into switching sides.
10:40 am: Volcano waiting to erupt in Cong-JD(S) alliance, says Yeddyurappa: "The absence of Congress MLAs from the CLP meeting and deep differences between the coalition partners are an indication that this is likely to erupt as a volcano in the next coming days," Yeddyurappa said on Friday night. Their absence also shows intense and widespread anger and resentment among Congress MLAs, he said. His remarks came after four dissident Congress MLAs on Friday skipped the CLP meeting here that was called as a show of strength against an alleged bid by the BJP to dislodge the H D Kumaraswamy-led Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) government.
10:32 am: Congress CLP meeting to be held at 12 pm at Eagleton resort in Bengaluru, reports ANI.
10:21 am: Congress Legislators at Eagleton resort in Bengaluru. The MLAs have been lodged at the resort since last night.
Karnataka | BJP calls off 'Operation Lotus', 2 of 4 'disgruntled' Cong MLAs may return today: Sources
09:40 am: Will not destablise Congress-JD(S) govt, claims Yeddyurappa: Our MLAs are returning to Bengaluru from Delhi. We will tour the state and analyse the situation of drought. We will not destabilize this govt at any cost. Congress and JDS need not worry: Former Karnataka CM and BJP leader BS Yeddyurappa, in Bengaluru
07:30 am: Yeddyurappa asks MLAs to return: BS Yeddyurappa has asked BJP MLAs to finally return to Bengaluru. The opposition legislators were hunkered down at the Gurugram hotel since Mondayto 'prevent the Congress from poaching them'.
07:00 am: Notice to 4 Congress MLAs: The Congress has issued notices to MLAs who skipped the Congress Legislature Party meeting in Bengaluru that was called as a show of strength against the alleged bid by the BJP to dislodge the HD Kumaraswamy government. CLP leader Siddaramaiah said that 76 MLAs were present at the meeting, also attended by Congress leader in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, AICC general secretary KC Venugopal and deputy chief minister G Parameshwara, besides other state leaders. Ahead of the CLP meet, Siddaramaiah had issue notices to all the party MLAs warning that their absence would be viewed “seriously” and action initiated according to the Anti-Defection law.
06:30 am: Congress MLAs shifted to resort: Soon after the CLP meet, the Congress MLAs were herded together in two buses from the Vidhana Soudha, the state secretariat where the CLP was held, and taken to a resort near the city. A state senior Congress leader said since it was suspected that eight party MLAs had “committed” to BJP and might jump ship, the legislators were being shifted to a resort. “All the MLAs, MPs, and ministers will stay together. They will stay together as long as required to escape from the onslaught of the BJP,” Siddaramaiah said, adding that they would also discuss Lok Sabha elections.
06:00 am: Blows to Congress JD(S) government: In the first blow to the coalition government on Tuesday, two Independents had withdrawn their support to it. BJP state chief BS Yeddyurappa Friday claimed that they were supporting the party whose strength was 106 now.
“Our MLAs are united. Our team is intact. Our party is intact and united,” Siddaramaiah said, as he unleashed a barrage of attacks on the BJP, targeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party president Amit Shah.
KPCC president Dinesh Gundurao said, “Let whatever happen, there is no threat to this government.It will complete five years.The BJP is making futile attempts to destabilise the government.”
(With inputs from agencies)