Rubbishing reports about the BJP attempting 'Operation Lotus' to topple the coalition government in Karnataka, state party chief B S Yeddyurappa Monday said there was no truth in it and alleged that the Congress-JD(S) combine was trying to lure opposition MLAs. He also clarified that BJP MLAs were camping in New Delhi to discuss the strategy for Lok Sabha polls and the party was not indulging in any "resort politics."
"Despite having the majority, the Congress-JD(S) combine is trying to lure our MLAs and indulging in horse-trading, BJP is not doing it. We with 104 MLAs are ready to work as opposition peacefully," Yeddyurappa told reporters in New Delhi. Accusing the Congress-JD(S) coalition of trying to create confusion, he asked the ruling alliance to focus on developmental works and said the BJP was ready to function as a "sincere" opposition. "They are trying to lure our people with money and minister's position. We have not done this to any Congress-JD(S) MLAs. Kumaraswamy is doing it," he said.
Speculation is rife that six to eight Congress MLAs are ready to jump ship to the BJP side. There are also reports that a few of them have gone incommunicado. Adding to the speculation was BJP holding up all its 104 MLAs, who had gone to the national capital for the party national council meeting, in Delhi itself and having meetings. Yeddyurappa said during the last two days discussions have taken place in Delhi with MLAs on preparation for Lok Sabha polls.
"We have taken suggestions from the legislators about who should be candidates. One or two days (we will be here). After that, we will go to our constituencies and begin our work in all the 28Lok Sabha constituencies, on how to start preparing. We have discussed the directions given by the party leadership, both Prime Minister and party president," he said. Reports suggest that BJP legislators in Delhi were likely to be shifted to Gurgaon, to keep its numbers intact, with the Congress and JD(S) allegedly planning to poach BJP MLAs as a retaliatory measure to Operation Lotus.
However, Yeddyurappa clarified, "There is no need for us to do any "resort politics", we are not doing also", he said, adding that a few of them would be in Delhi. "A few are going to Gurgaon, they will go and come back...there is not even an iota of truth in BJP taking some ruling coalition MLAs to Mumbai.. only Congress-JD(S) know (why their MLAs are stationed in Mumbai), we don't know about it." Adding to BJP's worry on its MLAs being poached is Co-Operation Minister Bandeppa Kashyampur's statement in Vijayapura that BJP MLAs would approach the combine.
"You wait and watch.. as they know this government is stable and will continue the first class, they will start coming to this side," he said, asserting that no Congress-JD(S) MLAs would go to the BJP. '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 B S Yeddyurappa in 2008.
(With inputs from agencies.)