Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy on Monday dismissed reports of three Congress MLAs camping in a hotel in Mumbai in the “company of some BJP leaders” and claimed that his government was not under threat from the saffron party. “All three of them are continuously in contact with me. They went to Mumbai after informing me. My government isn’t under threat,” the Janata Dal (Secular) leader was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
The CM’s clarification came after senior Congress leader DK Shivakumar on Sunday accused the BJP of luring several opposition MLAs to topple the state government. “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 had said.
Reiterating the CM, Deputy CM G Parameshwara said that the Congress MLAs have no plans to join the saffron party. “BJP leaders are saying that this government will fall. But it won’t happen. Some of our MLAs have gone outside, they can go to temples, for holidays, family outings; we don’t know. Nobody said they are going to join the BJP and destabilise the government. All our MLAs are intact,” he said,
Even the BJP refuted Shivakumar’s claims, with former CM and senior leader BS Yeddyurappa saying, “There is no truth to all these rumours. This is between Congress and JD(S). We are not in touch with any of their MLAs. We are only focused on keeping our MLAs energised.” Yeddyurappa is scheduled to hold a meeting with Karnataka BJP MLAs in the national capital later in the day.
Union minister and BJP leader DV Sadananda Gowda said, “They (Congress) should keep their house in order. They are not able to keep their MLAs in Karnataka together and simply pinpointing at BJP.”
Referring to “Operation Lotus”, 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, had also accused CM 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,” he said.
“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,” he added.