Amidst deepening political crisis in Karnataka over allegations of poaching, a Congress minister has poked fun at Arnab Goswami’s Republic TV, accusing it of pursuing yellow journalism. The jibe by Karnataka’s Social Welfare Minister Priyank Kharge came amidst both the BJP and the state’s Congress-JDS alliance accusing each other of trying to poach their respective MLAs.
Kharge took to Twitter to write, “I was quite amused to get a call from @republic earlier today asking me if I am in Mumbai. Apparently their “sources” tell them that I am in Mumbai to join the BJP. Yellow journalism at its best.”
I was quite amused to get a call from @republic earlier today asking me if I am in Mumbai. Apparently their “sources” tell them that I am in Mumbai to join the BJP. Yellow journalism at its best.
— Priyank Kharge (@PriyankKharge) January 14, 2019
His tweet came amidst reports that as many as five Congress MLAs in Karnataka had left the state and were camping in Mumbai. This was widely viewed as an attempt by the BJP to destabilise the coalition government in Karnataka.
Senior Congress leader DK Shivakumar said all his MLAs were with the party. “Our MLAs are with us, we are answerable to the people of the constituency, they are not doing any dirty politics. BJP is trying to create a hype in the country on Mahagathbandhan. Let them be honest with their hearts first,” Shivakumar, also the Water Resource Minister in the state government was quoted by news agency ANI.
Meanwhile, former Chief Minister and veteran BJP leader, BS Yeddyurappa, accused the Congress of trying to split the BJP, forcing him to take his flock of 100 MLAs to Gurgaon, near Delhi. He said, “The Janata Dal Secular (JDS) wants to break BJP lawmakers. We are united. We will stay in Delhi for one or two days.”
In the last year’s assembly elections, no single party was able to secure a majority. The BJP, which too had failed to get the majority, was invited by the Governor to form the government. However, Yeddyurappa had to resign just two days after being sworn in as the state’s chief minister.
The Congress and the JDS had then formed a post poll alliance with Kumaraswamy being projected as the coalition’s chief minister despite JDS being the junior partner in the alliance.
Soon after the assembly elections were over last year, Kumaraswamy had accused the BJP of approaching his MLAs with an offer of Rs 100 crore each.