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  5. Karnataka Crisis | BJP calls off 'Operation Lotus', 2 of 4 'disgruntled' Congress MLAs likely to return from Mumbai today: Sources

Karnataka Crisis | BJP calls off 'Operation Lotus', 2 of 4 'disgruntled' Congress MLAs likely to return from Mumbai today: Sources

The BJP on Wednesday claimed that the Congress-JD(S) government in Karnataka has lost majority and that the ruling coalition is on the verge of "collapse" due to its "internal contradictions".

India TV Politics Desk India TV Politics Desk
New Delhi Updated on: January 17, 2019 11:21 IST
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Image Source : PTI/FILE

H D Kumaraswamy

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has called off its "Operation Lotus" as it failed to lure Congress MLAs so that it can destabilise the state government, said sources.

According to the sources, former CM of Karnataka BS Yeddyurappa, on Wednesday, before leaving for Bengaluru from Gurgaon said that the grand old party’s MLAs whom he trusted for the job, ditched him at the last movement.

However, Yeddyurappa, on his part denied any wrong doing.

"We are not indulging in any poaching. It is CM Kumaraswamy who is indulging in horse-trading, not BJP, CM himself is offering money and ministerial posts," ANI quoted Yeddyurappa, as saying.

Two out of four Congress MLAs, who are presently camping in a hotel in Mumbai, may return to Karnataka on Thursday, said sources. They had a conversation with the senior Congress leaders and now they are satisfied, added sources.

Presently, four Congress MLAs-- Umesh Jadhav, Mahesh K, B Nagendra and Ramesh Jarkiholi --are camping in the hotel.

Earlier there were reports that these MLAs may resign on Thursday. Amid efforts to keep its flock together as it accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of indulging in horse-trading to destabilise the state government, the grand old party has called a meeting of its Karnataka legislature party on Friday.

The party leaders dismissed reports claiming that some legislator were ready to quit and said that there was no threat to H D Kumaraswamy-led government. They asserted that the Congress MLAs were "intact".

On Wednesday, in a statement, Siddaramaiah's office said, "Congress Legislature Party meeting presided by CLP leader Siddaramaiah is scheduled for 3:30 pm on January 18 at the Conference Hall of Vidhana Soudha (state secretariat)".

The meeting assumes significance following attempts by the Congress to reach out to its disgruntled MLAs.

According to Congress sources, few ministers from the party have even offered to step down in the larger interest and to keep the coalition intact. The party leadership is also looking into the option, they added

There are reports that a few of the MLAs have gone incommunicado, with at least three to five of them camped in Mumbai along with a couple of BJP leaders.

Meanwhile, speaking to reporters in Chikkamagaluru, Siddaramaiah lashed out at the BJP, calling it "shameless".

"They (BJP) don't have any belief in democracy. People have given them a mandate in the election to sit in the opposition. People have not given them the verdict to govern. In the last six months, they have been trying to destabilise this government," he said.

"Yeddyurappa (BJP President) has grown old, but has no brain. He is around 76 years of age, but still he wants to become the chief minister through wrong means by offering crores of rupees to our MLAs. This is a threat to our democracy and BJP doesn't believe in democracy and Constitution," he alleged.

Accusing the BJP of keeping its MLAs confined to a hotel in Haryana, Siddaramaiah charged the party leaders with furnishing false information to media about forming the government.

Congress General Secretary in-charge of Karnataka KC Venugopal, who has been camping in the city since Monday night and holding a series of meetings with party leaders, said that all the Congress MLA's are "fine and intact."

Meanwhile, the BJP on Wednesday claimed that the Congress-JD(S) government in Karnataka has lost majority and that the ruling coalition is on the verge of "collapse" due to its "internal contradictions".

Its spokesperson G V L Narasimha Rao also accused the ruling coalition of trying to poach the state's BJP MLAs, who have been staying in a resort near the national capital, and said its "desperate attempt" to shore up its decreasing numbers will come to a nought.

A senior BJP leader, who declined to be named, said the party will "wait and watch" as to how the differences within the alliance play out before taking a call on its next move.

"Let the state unit decide and then we will deliberate over it," he said when asked if the BJP is looking to make a push for stalling its government in the southern state.

The saffron party also hit out at the Congress-JD(S) over its allegation that it was trying to poach the coalition MLAs.

"The statement coming from the Congress and the JD(S) in Karnataka is an attempt to hide their own failures and gain time to function as a minority government. The state government lacks legitimacy as it has lost the required numbers and has become a a lame duck government," Rao said.

He claimed that there is an "implosion" in Karnataka as a result of an intense factional feud that has broken out among its different factions. 

WATCH VIDEO: Former Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah directs MLAs to attend CLP meeting on 18 January

(With inputs from agencies)

 

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