Former Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Friday lashed out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah for attempting to poach his MLAs in Karnataka with ‘Rs 50-Rs 70 crore’ each.
Speaking after the Congress Legislature Party in Bengaluru, Siddaramaiah said, “76 MLAs were present physically out of the 79. I will send notice to absentees and seek an explanation. Then I will speak to the high command.” The former chief minister then accused Modi and Shah of attempting his MLAs with crores of rupees. News agency quoted him as saying, “Including Narendra Modi, Amit Shah and central ministers are also involved in this process of destabilising our government. They approached our MLAs with huge offers of Rs 50-70 crores. I have proof. How come a Chowkidar has so much money?”
A report by Hindustan Times said that four Congress MLAS, namely Ramesh Jarkiholi, B Nagendra, Umesh Jadhav and Mahesh Kumathahalli did not turn up for Friday’s CLP meeting, which was primarily to put up a show of strength amidst talks of BJP trying to topple the Congress-JDS government in the state.
Meanwhile, Congress MLA Sowmya Reddy told ANI, “We are not going to leave, we are working together well, let us work. We are all going to Eagleton resort, It would be a one day stay probably, a show of strength. We will also have discussion on upcoming parliamentary elections.”
All Congress MLAs were later taken to Eagleton resort, owned by influential Congress minister DK Shivakumar. This is the same resort where Gujarat Congress MLAs were flown to in 2017 during the Rajya Sabha elections involving Ahmed Patel.
The BJP too had taken its 100 MLAs to Gurgaon near Delhi amidst fears of the Congress engineering a split in the saffron party ranks. Former Chief Minister and veteran BJP leader, BS Yeddyurappa, had accused the Congress of trying to split the BJP, forcing him to take his flock of 100 MLAs to Gurgaon, near Delhi. He had 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.