A day after the Congress claimed that the BJP’s alleged attempts at poaching some of its legislators have been defeated by its show of strength at the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) meeting, former Karnataka chief minister and BJP leader BS Yeddyurappa said Congress and JDS need not worry as BJP will not destabilise the government. “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,” Yeddyurappa was quoted as saying by ANI.
On Friday, four Congress lawmakers gave the crucial party meeting a skip, without giving any reason for their absence. The CLP meet was called as a show of strength in a counter to an alleged bid by the BJP to topple the coalition government in Karnataka. The CLP meeting is expected to be begin today at 12 pm.
The absentee MLAs were: Ramesh Jarkiholi, who was dropped as minister in the recent cabinet rejig and is said to be extremely unhappy over it, B Nagendra, Umesh Jadhav and Mahesh Kumatahalli.
These four were among six dissidents who had gone incommunicado and touched base with the party in response to the CLP notice sent out by Congress Legislature Party head Siddaramaiah. In a notice issued to Congress MLAs ahead of the meeting, Siddaramaiah had also warned that absence of MLAs would be viewed ‘seriously’ and action would be taken against them under the Anti-Defection Law.
Though the absence of the four ministers did not pose as a major threat to the seven-month-old H D Kumaraswamy-led government, it did suggest that not all is well within the party which has apparently been hit by discord.
The Congress decided to move all 75 party MLAs, who attended the meeting, to Eageleton resort outside Bengaluru, ostensibly to protect them from poaching attempts by the BJP.
(With inputs from ENS)