Bengaluru, January 14: The Congress party in Karnataka is reportedly facing rebellion as three of its MLAs are camping in Mumbai with Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders. In the wake of the development, senior Congress leader and Karnataka minister DK Shivakumar alleged horse trading by the BJP and accused chief minister HD Kumaraswamy of being 'lenient' towards the opposition party.
"Horse trading is going on in the state. Three of our 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," Shivakumar, who is credit for being a 'trouble-shooter' in the Congress, told news agency PTI. Shivakumar went on to accuse CM Kumaraswamy of being soft on the 'ongoing conspiracy' by the BJP. Karnataka Congress Legislators Lobby for Cabinet Posts Ahead of Expansion.
"Our chief minister is a bit lenient towards the BJP. By ''lenient'', I mean he is not exposing the facts he knows. All the MLAs have conveyed to the chief minister about the ongoing conspiracies. They have also told Siddaramaiah about it," the minister said. "The chief minister is adopting a policy of wait and watch. If I was in his place, I would have exposed it within 24 hours," he added. Karnataka: Congress MLA Satish Jarkiholi Confirms of Few Legislators Being Unhappy and Party Leadership Is Trying to Convince Them.
Shivakumar said the BJP was trying to re-implement 'Operation Lotus' in Karnataka. Operation Lotus is a reference to the BJP allegedly luring several opposition MLAs to defect to ensure the stability of its then-government headed by BS Yeddyurappa in 2008. His statement came after a meeting of Congress MLAs where former chief minister Siddaramaiah and Congress state president Dinesh Gundu Rao were also present.
Reacting to the development, Kumaraswamy said he was aware of the fact some legislators are in touch with the BJP. "I am in touch with all MLAs. I know what the BJP has offered them," he said. Many Congress MLAs in Karnataka have alleged that they were approached by the BJP leaders to quit their party and join them.
The BJP, however, has trashed the charges, saying the coalition partners were hiding their shortcomings and internal strife by making false accusations at the opposition.