Karnataka in nataka mode: BJP offering Rs 30-40 crore to MLAs to defect, alleges Congress

Speculations are rife that the four MLAs are still in touch with the BJP and may jump ship, as they have not yet responded to the second notice issued by former Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah asking them to appear before him and explain their absence from the Constituency Labour Party (CLP) meeting.

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MLAs being absent from the House on Wednesday has caused serious concern to the ruling Congress-JD(S) coalition in the state. (Photo: PTI)

Source: India Today

The Congress has alleged that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has been offering Rs 30-40 crore to party MLAs in a bid to defect the Congress party.

Congress MP DK Suresh said that the BJP has taken some Congress MLAs into custody and asked the prime minister to intervene.

Congress leader VS Ugrappa said, “There is a threat to Indian democracy because of PM Modi and the BJP. We are demanding the President’s intervention in the matter.”

It comes after nine Congress MLAs ignored the whip and skipped the legislature session on Wednesday (February 6), keeping the ruling coalition on tenterhooks on the opening day of the budget session.

The nine Congress MLAs included the four — Ramesh Jarkiholi, Umesh G Jadhav, B Nagendra, and Mahesh Kumathalli, who had skipped the January 18 Congress legislature party (CLP) meeting, official and party sources said.

MLA JN Ganesh, who has been declared absconding after an alleged brawl with a colleague lawmaker at a resort recently, was among the absentees.

The whip, asking all ruling coalition legislators to be present on all days of the budget session of the assembly, was issued on Tuesday amid allegations of renewed bid by BJP to destabilise the Kumaraswamy ministry in Karnataka.

The joint session of the legislature began on a stormy note with the opposition BJP questioning the legitimacy of the JDS-Congress government.

BJP members created a ruckus disrupting the address of Governor Vajubhai Vala, forcing him to cut short his speech and read the last para.

“We don’t want a bundle of lies to be read. Down down…the government that has lost majority and trust,” BJP members said shouting down Vala.

Stung by the MLAs’ absence, Congress Legislature Party leader and former chief minister Siddaramaiah issued another whip on Wednesday to party MLAs asking them to “compulsorily” attend the session between February 6 and 15.

Speculations are rife that the four MLAs are still in touch with the BJP and may jump ship, as they have not yet responded to the second notice issued by former Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah asking them to appear before him and explain their absence from the Constituency Labour Party (CLP) meeting.

MLAs being absent from the House on Wednesday, despite the whip and warning of strict action, has caused serious concern to the edgy ruling Congress-JD(S) coalition in the state.

Four BJP lawmakers were also absent but the party sources said they had obtained prior permission.

A JDS MLA also did not show up.

Frontline Karnataka minister DK Shivakumar hit out at the BJP for showing disrespect to the Governor “out of frustration”, on not being successful to come to power.

“We are aware what three to four BJP MLAs are doing sitting in Mumbai, our party will take a call on it,” he said.

Minister KJ George challenged the BJP to move a no-confidence motion and said all MLAs were with Congress party and were together.

Speaking to reporters, BJP state president and Leader of Opposition BS Yeddyurappa said the coalition has no moral right to stay.

Yeddyurappa said his party would not move a no-confidence motion and that “the true colours” of the government would come out during the budget session.”

“Congress-JD(S) legislators are fighting against each other,” he said.

“According to numbers that I have gathered today, about 10-11 Congress MLAs did not attend the House,” Yeddyurappa claimed, adding Kumaraswamy also didn’t have trust in his MLAs.

According to BJP sources, the party would continue its agitation against the government in the assembly and during budget presentation on Friday.



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