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LD KARNATAKA


PTI bengalu
Updated: 16-01-2019 18:59 IST
LD KARNATAKA

The power play between the

ruling Congress-JDS coalition and BJP in Karnataka continued

Wednesday, as the two sides escalated their war of words and

went into an overdrive to keep their flock together.

The Congress and JDS continued to present a picture of

confidence about the brewing crisis blowing over, with Chief

Minister H D Kumaraswamy saying things were "under control"

and there was no reason for worry.

As the ruling partners unleashed a scathing attack on

the BJP for allegedly trying to topple the government, the

saffron party MLAs continued to be ensconced at a resort in

Gurugram, fearing poaching attempts.

According to Congress sources, a few ministers from the

party have even offered to step down in the larger interest

and to keep the coalition intact. The party leadership is also

looking into the option, they added.

It was not known how long the 104 BJP MLAs, who went to

New Delhi to attend the party's national council meeting but

extended their stay, would remain cooped up in the resort.

Meanwhile, sources said BJP's Karnataka unit chief B S

Yeddyurappa is likely to hold a meeting with the party MLAs

who are camping at the resort and discuss the prevailing

situation in the state.

They said the BJP legislators will stay put in Gurugram

till the party top leaders give the green signal to return to

Karnataka.

Around 20 Youth Congress workers led by party's Haryana

Pradesh Congress General Secretary Pradeep Singh raised

slogans against the NDA government outside the resort.

The protesters alleged that the BJP was "disrespecting

the Constitution and murdering democracy" in the country.

Karnataka chief minister H D Kumaraswamy said in

Bengaluru that it was not necessary for him to carry out "any

operation" (poaching) and that he had sufficient numbers with

him.

"Everything is under control..don't worry,"

Kumaraswamy said, trying to present a picture of being

relaxed.

Kumaraswamy, whose government received a jolt on

Tuesday when two Independent MLAs withdrew support to it, was

asked if the ruling alliance would also launch a

counter-strike on the BJP to lure its lawmakers.

The chief minister wanted BJP state president B S

Yeddyurappa to explain if his party MLAs have been shifted to

Gurugram to celebrate Sankranthi or for any other reason.

Kumaraswamy said his party MLAs were not being

shifted to any resort, as being speculated in the media.

"So I request media not to fool itself and the people

of the state."

On five Congress MLAs, who are in Mumbai allegedly

under BJP's control, Kumaraswamy said, "I have been saying for

the past three days that they are in touch with me, I'm in the

know of all the developments."

"They may not be reachable to others, but they are

reachable to me," he said in response to a question whether

the five MLAs were accessible.

In New Delhi, Congress leader in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun

Kharge said the Congress-JD(S) government in Karnataka is

"stable and strong" and accused the BJP of trying to

destabilise it.

At a press meet, he said there was no crisis for the

government in Karnataka.

Congress general secretary K C Venugopal asserted that

none of his party legislators were going to quit.

"Not even one MLA is going to quit Congress. I have

contacted my MLAs, and therefore, I am telling you this very

confidently. In fact, by Thursday evening, you will have a

clear picture about Karnataka," he told PTI here.

"It would be a big slap on the face of BJP as it is

going to fail in its endeavour to bring the government down.

Their shameless motive to destabilise the government is

going to be a big failure. It will be a national shame for

them," he said.

Speaking to reporters, Minister B Z Zameer Ahmad Khan,

considered a "trouble shooter" for the Congress, said

Kumaraswamy-led government faced no threat and Yeddyurappa was

"daydreaming" about becoming Chief Minister once again.

Claiming that seven to eight BJP MLAs were in touch

with them, he said "Let them (BJP) leave MLAs, seven to eight

of them are ready to come to us..that's the reason they are

holding up MLAs."

Meanwhile, state Congress President Dinesh Gundu Rao

told PTI: "The entire confusion has been created by the BJP.

Was that really required? They did it brazenly throwing

morality and ethics to the wind.It's shameful and disgusting."

Seeking to allay fears over the stability of the

Congress-JDS dispensation, Rao said, "All our MLAs are intact

and nobody is going anywhere.They are all with us together.

Meanwhile, Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara and

CLP leader Siddaramaiah met Venugopal and held discussions.

The Congress has convened a meeting of its MLAs here

on January 18 to take stock of the ongoing political

developments.

A political turmoil has enveloped Karnataka since

Monday triggered by horse trading charges over an alleged bid

by the BJP to destabilise the coalition government.

Countering the allegations, the state BJP blamed the

"unnatural" alliance between the Congress and JD(S) for the

turmoil and said the ruling coalition was hiding its inability

to keep its house in order by "unnecessarily" finding fault

with the saffron party.

State BJP general secretary C T Ravi said the Congress

and JD(S) that entered into an unholy alliance, promising good

administration, have betrayed the people of the state.

"Legislators of both the parties have now realised that

this government cannot achieve anything," he said.PTI KSU GMS

RA TVS BN

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