Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy on Wednesday said the JD(S)-Congress coalition was going smoothly and expressed confidence that the Congress MLAs in Mumbai would return.
“I was relaxed and I am relaxed. Don’t worry, be happy,” Kumaraswamy told reporters.
The two MLAs, along with four Congress MLAs, are reportedly staying at a luxury hotel in Mumbai’s Powai, amid talk of BJP’s ‘Operation Lotus’ to topple the coalition government in Karnataka.
Congress leader Shivakumar had on Sunday claimed that three Congress MLAs were camping at the hotel in the “company of some BJP leaders”. “We are aware of what has transpired there and how much has been offered to them,” Shivakumar had said.
Meanwhile, Karnataka BJP leader Yeddyurappa, former chief minister Jagadish Shettar and other senior leaders like Shobha Karandlaje are among the 104 BJP MLAs staying in the ITC Grand Bharat resort in Haryana since Monday.
Sources told PTI the BJP legislators have been shifted to the resort in an attempt to keep the flock together and thwart any poaching attempt by the Congress-JD(S) combine.
Siddaramaiah-BJP Twitter war
On Tuesday, the political turmoil led to a Twitter war between Congress strongman Siddaramaiah and the BJP.
Siddaramaiah launched a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, asking him whether his slogan ‘Saaf Niyat’ (Clean intention) meant a coup and grabbing power.
Taunting BJP leaders for huddling their MLAs in a resort as they had done in the past, Siddaramaiah said the BJP always had Gandha Niyat (bad intention) and ‘Resort Vikas’ (promoting resort politics).
Hitting back, BJP tweeted, “You seem to have completely lost it after you were booted out in#KarnatakaElections. Remember how your party locked up your own MLA’s in resorts just few months back, Who was then threatened ? Certainly not BJP. Your greed to have control over Congress is today backfiring.”
BJP, Congress trade charges
BJP General Secretary Muralidhar Rao Tuesday said withdrawal of support by the two independent MLAs was an offshoot of internal bickerings among Congress leaders, mainly DK Shivakumar.
“The withdrawal of support by two independent MLAs is the result of internal bickerings among Congress leaders. Particularly, DK Shivakumar is a problem. He basically is precipitating the problem, but levelling charges against the BJP,” he told PTI over phone.
AICC General Secretary Karnataka in-charge, KC Venugopal alleged that the BJP had been making attempts to destabilise the secular government headed by Kumaraswamy ever since it came to power in the state seven months ago.
“Our government will continue at any cost. It will complete five years. Nothing will happen. Our MLAs are strong and united,” Venugopal said after holding a meeting with Kumaraswamy in Bengaluru.
“This will be a big slap on the face of the BJP,” Venugopal said.
Accusing BJP of trying to lure legislators offering huge sums of money, he said: “The anti-democratic and unethical practice of the BJP will be exposed soon”.
(With PTI inputs)