While the Congress in Karnataka on Wednesday asserted that political crisis in the state is over and that it will “expose” the BJP’s alleged attempts at destabilising the alliance government with the JD(S), the saffron party’s national leadership in Delhi indicated that it is not keen on any such attempt unless the ruling alliance’s MLAs “come out in open rebellion against their leadership”.
BJP leaders said the party’s state leadership wanted to “explore possibilities of forming a government” in the southern state.
Several BJP leaders also pointed out that the developments in Karnataka can give the party an opportunity to expose “unsuccessful” experiments at forming coalitions in the run-up to the General Election. “We can show people how fragile unprincipled coalitions can become,” a party leader said.
According to BJP leaders, the party’s central leadership did not back any attempts at poaching legislators from the ruling coalition or creating any trouble since it will show the party in poor light on the eve of Lok Sabha polls.
Officially, the BJP leadership in New Delhi is keeping a “wait and watch” policy without any “Operation Kamal” agenda.
“We are just waiting and watching. We are not doing anything now… But it is not our responsibility to see that the JD(S)-Congress government remains in power in Karnataka,” P Muralidhar Rao, BJP general secretary in charge of Karnataka, told The Indian Express.
On Wednesday, almost all BJP MLAs from Karnataka still remained at a luxury hotel in Gurgaon, next door to the national capital. Sources in BJP said many MLAs now want to return to the state to visit Shivakumara Swami, of Siddhaganga Mutt in Tumakuru, a revered seer of the Lingayat community, who has been admitted to hospital.
Karnataka BJP leader and former Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa may have to let some MLAs return to the state, the sources added.
Justifying the sequestering of party MLAs in Gurgaon, Rao said they did not have any option but to “protect and shield” the MLAs since Karnataka Chief Minister
H D Kumaraswamy has publicly announced that he was in touch with some BJP MLAs. “Our move was just to protect our MLAs,” he maintained.
Calling the crisis in Karnataka an “internal issue” of the Congress, Rao said, “If there is a problem in the Congress, we can’t do anything about it. If it (rebellion in the Congress) spills over, the BJP will have to act. (But) the time has not yet come for the BJP to consider possibilities.”
The ruling party’s top leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party chief Amit Shah, have criticised attempts by opposition parties to form an anti-BJP alliance. With the coming together of the Bahujan Samaj Party and the Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh, which many feel has the potential to damage BJP’s prospects, the Karnataka crisis will give the ruling party an opportunity to create a perception against “opportunist alliances”, according to a party leader.