Fearing poaching by the Bharatiya Janata Party, Congress party kept its MLAs at a resort outside the city for another night. The legislators were shifted to the private resort on the city outskirts on Friday night after a CLP meeting was chaired by CLP leader Siddaramaiah at the state legislature building Vidhana Soudha, as a show of legislators' strength.
The Congress party over the past week has been accusing the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of allegedly poaching its legislators.
Here are the latest updates on Karnataka turmoil:
02:12 pm: Mahagathbandhan an alliance of corruption, negativity and instability: Modi while addressing party workers in Goa
01:44 pm: Reports of Cong MLA giving luxury car to Siddaramaiah surface: Congress MLA Byrathi Suresh has courted a fresh controversy after media reports of former chief minister Siddaramaiah receiving a luxury car from him surfaced. Denying the reports, Congress leader and minister D K Shivakumar said Siddaramaiah has not been gifted Mercedes-Benz car by Suresh, but it had been given for his travelling purposes. "There is no gift or anything. We sometimes take our friends' vehicle to travel. There is no issue. Is there any record that he has received a gift or anything? Nothing, no record," he said.
01:15 pm: Cong-JD(S) coalition govt will fall due to internal bickering, claims BJP leader: Frmer Karnataka deputy chief minister and BJP leader K S Eshwarappa has said the Congress-JD(S) coalition government in the state would fall due to internal bickering and his party would form the government. The present political turbulence is because of the internal bickering in the Congress and their leaders have been needlessly levelling allegations against the BJP, he said. "There actually is no need for the BJP to indulge in Operation Kamala to topple the Congress-JD(S) coalition government," Eshwarappa told reporters after arriving at the Bengaluru airport late Saturday night. "All our 104 MLAs are together, unlike the Congress where four to five of their MLAs are going to desert, which could further precipitate confusion and culminate in the fall of the government...and the BJP will form the government," he added.
11:46 pm: Karnataka BJP MLAs return from Gurgaon: Karnataka BJP MLAs have returned to the state from Gurgaon where they were lodged in a private resort for the past a few days.State BJP president B S Yeddyurappa had asked all 104 party MLAs to return and they flew back to the state late Saturday night, BJP MLC Lehar Singh told PTI. "Some of them have directly flown back to their constituencies and others including former deputy chief ministers R Ashoka and K S Eshwarappa returned to Bengaluru," he said.
11:00 am: DK Shivakumar on reports of fight between Karnataka Congress MLAs Anand Singh and JN Ganesh:There is no fight. You saw all of them coming together, going together. It's fake news.Entire Congress party is united.I'm confident that even those who couldn't attend CLP will come to Congress
11:00 am: DK Shivakumar on reports that a Congress MLA gifted a 2019 Mercedes-Benz car to Siddaramaiah: There is no gift or anything. We also sometimes take our friends' vehicle to travel. There is no issue. Is there any record that he has received a gift or anything? Nothing, no record
Karnataka Congress in-charge KC Venugopal will interact with the party legislators on Sunday, state unit President Dinesh Gundu Rao tweeted. "KC Venugopal will interact individually with our MLAs regarding parliamentary elections and decision on our future course of action will be taken," Rao tweeted.
Meanwhile, BJP called back its MLAs from Gurugram to Bengaluru on Saturday. The opposition legislators were at a hotel in Delhi's neighbouring town since MOnday claiming that Congress was trying to poach them. Making the announcement that MLAs have been called back, state party president BS Yeddyurappa claimed that his party had no intention of destabilising the government and BJP would rather focus on the ongoing drought situation in the state.
“We will not try to destabilise this government for any reason, let them not have that fear. We will work as the opposition,” Yeddyurappa, whose party has been accused of having triggered the political crisis with its toppling game, said.
“Let the Congress-JD(S) leaders not have any doubt about it,” he said, a day after chinks in the ruling coalition was exposed with four MLAs skipping the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) meet.
The BJP also announced that a seven-member team led by Yeddyurappa would tour the drought-hit districts from Monday. CLP leader Siddaramaiah welcomed Yeddyurappa’s decision to call back all BJP MLAs and asked him to “walk the talk” on not trying to destabilise the ruling coalition.
“I welcome Yeddyurappa’s decision to call back the BJP legislators from Delhi and send them to monitor the drought management in the state,” he said in a tweet in Kannada.
“Yeddyurappa has said that they will not destabilise the state government, they will work as opposition. Let Congress, JD(S) leaders not fear. He should walk the talk and save the public’s trust,” Siddaramaiah said in another tweet.
Congress pointsman and frontline minister DK Shivakumar said he was in touch with all the MLAs. Asked about senior ministers resigning to accommodate disgruntled legislators in the cabinet, he said, “I have voluntarily offered.. in the interest of the party if my leaders want I’m ready."
“All of us are ready,” he said when asked how many were ready to quit.
On Yeddyurappa-led team’s drought tour, Shivakumar said “good thing that at least now they have got enlightenment to study the drought situation. Karnataka government will give them all cooperation. My compliments to them.”
As the state saw another return to resort politics, the BJP alleged that the resort where Congress legislators were staying owed Rs 982 crore to the government as penalty in a land encroachment case and asked Congress leaders to collect the amount and use it to waive farm loans.
“Now that Congress Party will spend time in resort we request ‘Maryada Purushothama’ Sri.@siddaramaiah,@DKShivakumar &@dineshgrao to collect this money while u return U can use it for farmer loan waiver,” Karnataka BJP said in a tweet, citing media reports.
During the recent assembly session at Belagavi, Revenue Minister R V Deshpande had told the House that the state government would take all measures to collect Rs 982 crore from the resort for encroaching on 77 acres of government land.
In a clear sign that all was not well within the
Congress, the CLP meet saw four absentees and the party later said it would issue notices to Ramesh Jarkiholi, B Nagendra, Umesh Jadhav and Mahesh Kumatahalli seeking explanation.
After the political drama unfolded on Monday, two Independents withdrew support to the coalition government.
The Congress has been accusing the BJP of making repeated attempts to bring down the government and targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party president Amit Shah on the issue.
(With inputs from PTI)