Amid the accusations of trying to bring down the Congress-JDS government in Karnataka, former Chief Minister and senior BJP leader BS Yeddyurappa on Saturday said that they will not destabilise the state government and the ruling coalition need not worry. “We will not destabilise this govt at any cost. Congress and JDS need not worry,” news agency ANI quoted Yeddyurappa as saying.
The BJP leader said that his party MLAs, who were staying at a luxury resort in Gurugram, will return to Bengaluru on Saturday. “Our MLAs are returning to Bengaluru from Delhi. We will tour the state and analyse the situation of drought,” he said.
The Congress party has been accusing the BJP of trying to poach its MLAs as part of the “Operation Lotus”. The BJP, however, rebutted the allegations and claimed that it was the Congress-JDS government that was trying to break its MLAs.
Earlier on Friday, the Congress party had called a meeting of all its legislators in Bengaluru. However, four of its MLAs didn’t turn up for the he Congress Legislature Party (CLP) meeting, which triggered speculations that they were indeed in the BJP’s fold.
The MLAs who failed to attend the session were - Ramesh Jarkiholi, who was removed as minister in the recent cabinet rejig, B Nagendra, Umesh Jadhav and Mahesh Kumatahalli. The Congress party will again hold a CLP meeting later on Saturday to test the loyalties of its MLAs.
The coalition government in Karnataka suffered the first major setback when two MLAs, an Independent and a member of the Karnataka Pragnyavantara Janata Paksha, Tuesday withdrew support to the government.
There was no immediate threat to the government with the withdrawal of support, but speculation was rife that many other disgruntled Congress MLAs could follow suit by resigning from the Assembly, though the party has maintained that its flock is intact. In the 224-member Assembly, BJP has 104 members, Congress has 79, JDS 37, BSP, KPJP and Independent one each, besides the Speaker.