BJP’s Rajya Sabha MP Rajeev Chandrsekhar has denied his links with the current political crisis in Karnataka even as it emerged that his company-owned chartered plane was used to ferry ‘dissident’ Congress MLAs out of Bengaluru. Chandrasekhar is also the co-founder of Arnab Goswami’s Republic TV.
Karnataka’s Congress-JDS government was hit by a sudden crisis after 14 MLAs belonging to both the ruling parties submitted their resignations over the weekend. 11 of them later boarded a chartered flight to travel to Mumbai and are currently staying in an unknown hotel in India’s financial capital.
The Congress was quick to launch an attack on the BJP accusing it of attempting to topple the government. Karnataka’s Deputy Chief Minister G Prameshwara wrote, “Traces of BJP’s role in destabilizing the govt are all over the place. It is disgraceful that the party is attempting to topple a democratically elected govt & grab power through the backdoor, when the state is reeling under one of the worst droughts.”
Prameshwara was referring to a report by news agency PTI claiming that the chartered plane used to transport rebel Congress and JDS MLAs out of Bengaluru belonged to Chandrasekhar’s Jupiter Capital Private Limited. He is the founder and chairman of this company.
Chandrasekhar denied Prameshwara’s charge as he wrote, “Dear @DrParameshwara – this “aircraft” is a commercial charter – that has been chartered by many ppl including ur own ministers in past! So don’t blame me or an “aircraft” or @BJP4India for the problems in yr crooked corrupt opportunistic “alliance”.”
Dear @DrParameshwara – this “aircraft” is a commercial charter – tht has been chartered by many ppl incldg ur own ministers in past !
— Rajeev Chandrasekhar 🇮🇳 (@rajeev_mp) July 8, 2019
Incidentally, Republic TV that Chandrasekhar funded as Goswami’s business partner, on Monday ran an hour-long debate on the political crisis in Karnataka. Goswami launched the hashtag #JusticeInKarnataka as he claimed that no other hashtag could have justified the imminent falling of an ‘illegitimate’ government. Among other things, Goswami accused the Karnataka government headed by HD Kumaraswamy of being the most corrupt in the history of Indian politics and how it had ‘cheated the mandate’ of the people.
Faced with an existential crisis, the entire Karnataka cabinet resigned on Monday with former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah announcing that dissident MLAs will be accommodated in the new cabinet. Karnataka Assembly Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar has yet to take a decision on the resignations submitted by dissident MLAs including an independent MLA Nagesh, who was also a minister in the Karnataka government. He too was seen leaving Bengaluru in a chartered flight on Monday, prompting political analysts to wonder who was paying for their expensive travel.