Karnataka Water Resources Minister and Congress leader DK Shivakumar slammed the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) a day after BS Yeddyurappa accused the ruling alliance in the state of trying to lure saffron party MLAs.
Shivakumar, who is known as the trouble-shooter for the Congress-JD(S) alliance in the state, said that all Congress MLAs are with the party.
“Our MLAs are with us. We are answerable to the people of the constituency. They are not doing any dirty politics,” he was quoted as saying by ANI.
“BJP is trying to create a hype in the country on Mahagathbandhan. Let them be honest with their hearts first,” he said in reaction to Yeddyurappa’s allegation.
Reports that around six to eight Congress MLAs have gone incommunicado fuelled speculation that they are ready to jump ship to the BJP side.
The Karnataka Congress had on Sunday claimed that the BJP was indulging in ‘Operation Lotus’, alleging that three of its MLAs were camping in a hotel in Mumbai in the “company of some BJP leaders”.
Shivakumar had then said that “three of Congress MLAs are in Mumbai in a hotel with some BJP MLAs and leaders”.
“We are aware of what has transpired there and how much has been offered to them,” he said.
Yeddyurappa, the 75-year-old former Chief Minister and president of Karnataka BJP, had on Monday rubbished Congress-JD(S) accusations that his party was attempting ‘Operation Lotus’ to topple the coalition government in the state. On the contrary, he said that it is parties in power who are trying to lure BJP MLAs.
“Despite having majority, the Congress-JD(S) combine is trying to lure our MLAs and indulging in horse-trading; BJP is not doing it. We with 104 MLAs are ready to work as opposition peacefully,” Yeddyurappa told reporters in New Delhi.
He said that BJP MLAs from Karnataka were in the national capital to discuss the strategy for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls
Yeddyurappa accused Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy of trying to lure BJP leaders with “money and minister’s position”.
“We have not done this to any Congress-JD(S) MLAs,” he said.
‘Operation Lotus’ is a reference to the BJP allegedly luring several opposition MLAs to defect to ensure stability of its then-government headed by BS Yeddyurappa in Karnataka in 2008.