The Karnataka political turmoil deepens as the ruling Congress-JD(S) alliance was nearing a showdown with media reports claiming that as many as seven Congress MLAs holed up in a luxury hotel in Mumbai might withdraw support on Tuesday. A Congress Legislature Party (CLP) meeting has been called on January 18 in Bengaluru. Amid talk of the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)'s 'Operation Lotus' to topple the coalition government in the neighbouring state, security was beefed up at the five-star resort in suburban Mumbai. The Congress suspects that some of its MLAs are lodged in the Powai-based hotel, kept secretly by BJP leaders. Many journalists and Congress workers were seen in the vicinity of the hotel, searching for the "missing" Congress MLAs on Tuesday.
I invite all who left the fold to come back and not worry. Second generation Congressmen who won election must not feel insecure. Rahul Gandhi and KC Venugopal are aware of your grievances, you will be given chance in next cabinet expansion: Congress MP KH Muniyappa— News Nation (@NewsNationTV) January 16, 2019
📷: ANI pic.twitter.com/F6IzFLHiOj
Haryana: Congress workers protest outside the hotel in Gurugram where Karnataka BJP MLAs are staying. Protestors allege BJP is indulging in horse trading pic.twitter.com/9Mn2cvc5Ut— ANI (@ANI) January 16, 2019
On the other hand, the BJP shifted 99 of its 104 state legislators to a private resort in Gurugram, a party spokesman told news agency IANS. Congress workers staged a protest outside the Gurugram hotel on Wednesday morning alleging that the BJP was indulging in horse-trading. Hotel insiders say since they arrived, the police have placed extra layers of security, which means hardly any other guests are left, as reported by NDTV.
KC Venugopal, Karnataka Congress in-charge said, "I'm in touch with all our MLAs, this drama is going to end in a day or a two. We are all together, there is no internal fight in Congress. This is all baseless."
K C Venugopal, Karnataka Congress In-charge: I'm in touch with all our MLAs, this drama is going to end in a day or a two. We are all together, there is no internal fight in Congress. This is all baseless. pic.twitter.com/3OZaVQ42QJ— ANI (@ANI) January 16, 2019
Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy, however, reiterated he enjoyed the support of 120 MLAs and alleged that Yeddyurappa was making "futile attempts" to destabilise his government. In the 224-member Assembly, BJP has 104 members, Congress- 79, JDS- 37, BSP, KPJP and Independent one each, besides Speaker.
In a jolt to the seven-month-old Janata Dal Secular-Congress coalition in Karnataka, two Independent lawmakers H Nagesh and R Shankar withdrew support from the ruling state government on Tuesday. Congress leader and former Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah launched a scathing attack on the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi asking him whether his slogan ''Saaf Niyat'' (Clean intention) meant a coup and grabbing power. Former prime minister HD Deve Gowda said that the media is unnecessarily hyping the issue and the resigning of the two MLAs shouldn’t be given too much importance.
HD Deve Gowda. former PM and JDS Chief: The two MLAs(who withdrew support from Karnataka Govt) are not affiliated with any party. They are independents. There is no need to hype it up so much. It is all a media hype. pic.twitter.com/ObDWT53sAR
— ANI (@ANI) January 16, 2019