Monday, 27 May 2019

Karnataka Abuzz With Coup Rumours as JDS, Congress, BJP Scramble to Keep Flock Together

Bengaluru: Outgoing Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and JD(S) President HD Kumaraswamy address the media after a meeting with Governor Rudabhai Vala in relation with in Bengaluru on Tuesday. (PTI Photo/Shailendra Bhojak) (PTI5_15_2018_000169B)

After the BJP’s alleged efforts to woo some Congress and JD(S) MLAs by offering them money and ministerial positions became public, the worried combine held emergency meetings to counter any coup attempt.

 

Bengaluru, Sept 17: Rumour of a coup attempt to dislodge the JD(S)-Congress government in Karnataka is gaining ground with the BJP summoning all its MLAs to the state capital on Wednesday.

The ruling combine has alleged a conspiracy by the BJP to topple the four-month-old HD Kumaraswamy government using “illegal and unconstitutional” means. The BJP has dismissed the allegations, claiming the “shaky” coalition will bite the dust on its own soon.

After the BJP’s alleged efforts to woo some Congress and JD(S) MLAs by offering them money and ministerial positions became public, the worried combine held emergency meetings to counter any coup attempt.
Former chief minister and Congress legislature party leader Siddaramaiah, who returned from a two-week Europe tour on Sunday, held a series of meetings with party MLAs who are reportedly unhappy with the JD(S)-led government.

According to insiders, Siddaramaiah has pacified them and asked them not to “fall prey to the BJP” for power and money. On Monday, he held a few more meetings to take stock of the situation.

AICC Karnataka in-charge KC Venugopal had met Siddaramaiah on Sunday along with deputy chief minister Dr G Parameshwara and KPCC president Dinesh Gundurao to discuss the party strategy to prevent the possible poaching of its MLAs. They alleged that the BJP is making “desperate attempts” to install its own government after toppling the current one and that both the JD(S) and Congress are fully aware of it.

Speaking to News18, Siddaramaiah said, “We have done well in the recently held Urban Local Body (ULB) elections. It has caused a big worry to the BJP at the Centre. If we continue in power till Lok Sabha elections, the BJP will be reduced to a single digit in Karnataka. Because of that, they are trying to dislodge the government by offering huge money and ministerial posts to our MLAs. But we are united and the BJP won’t succeed.”

HD Kumaraswamy, who is in Gulbarga to commemorate the Hyderabad-Karnataka liberation day, made a scathing attack on the BJP for once again resorting to “resort” politics.

“I know what they are up to. They want to come back to power at any cost and are employing all illegal and immoral means. Yeddyurappa has hired the services of even underworld people to poach our MLAs. They will not be able to do that,” the chief minister said.

Rumour mills are abuzz that the BJP is targeting 15 Congress and JDS MLAs to bring the strength of the state Assembly down to 207 from the current strength of 222. “They have managed to convince 5-6 of our MLAs. But they are finding it difficult to reach the target,” a close aide of the chief minister told News18.

Senior JD(S) MLA HK Kumaraswamy’s wife Chanchala has also dropped a bombshell by claiming that two BJP leaders offered her husband Rs. 30 crore and a ministerial berth to defect and that he flatly refused to ditch the JD(S).

Meanwhile, the BJP is planning to herd all its MLAs to a resort to prevent the JD(S)-Congress from poaching some of their MLAs after Kumaraswamy claimed that 5-6 BJP MLAs were in touch with him and would resign from the saffron party, said a source.

State BJP president BS Yeddyurappa told News18 that the JDS-Congress government was counting its last days in office and that it would collapse without the BJP making any efforts to topple the government.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh will visit Bengaluru on Tuesday leading to more speculation in political circles. According to government sources, Singh has no official programme in Karnataka.

In the 224-member Assembly, the Congress has 79 MLAs and the JD(S) has 38. Two Independents are also backing the government. The BJP has 104 MLAs. Two seats are vacant.

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