yeddyurappa kumaraswamy
India Politics

Aiyo! Natak in Karnataka back for Day 5. Congress gives returning BJP MLAs hearty welcome

The drama in Karnataka began when a Congress minister, DK Shivakumar, levelled allegations of horsetrading against the BJP. Both the ruling Congress-JD(S) alliance and the BJP have accused each other of trying to poach MLAs.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Congress legislature party meeting today in Bengaluru
  • 1 Congress MLA returned from Mumbai, 3 more remain
  • BJP MLAs in Gurgaon resort asked to leave in batches: Sources

A turbulent week in Karnataka politics — featuring charges of MLA poaching, loss of legislator support for government and, believe it or not, cricket — enters Day Five today.

Karnataka is governed by a coalition between the Janata Dal (Secular) and the Congress. In opposition is the BJP — the single largest party in the state election held last May.

This week’s drama began when DK Shivakumar, a Congress minister, levelled accusations of horsetrading against the BJP, and alleged that three of his party’s MLAs were in a Mumbai hotel in the “company of some BJP leaders”. It turned out there were four MLAs in the hotel — all Congressmen, all disgruntled.

One of them has returned to Bengaluru, Karnataka’s capital. According to party sources, the remaining trio have said they will too.

A Congress legislature party meeting is scheduled to take place today in Bengaluru.

Two independents have withdrawn support for Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy’s government — but it still has the numbers it needs.

Both the ruling alliance and the BJP have accused each other of trying to poach MLAs.

BJP MLAs return from Gurgaon hotel

Seventy rooms were booked in a Gurgaon resort (each costs between Rs 27,000 and 31,000 a night) for the Karnataka BJP MLAs, some of whom have now left. The rest — according to party sources — have been asked to leave in batches.

Some of the MLAs were filmed playing cricket at the resort.

“We extend a hearty welcome to all Karnataka BJP MLAs who are returning home after an extended holiday at a luxury resort near Delhi,” said Dinesh Gundu Rao, the Karnataka Congress president.

“Now that they are sufficiently rejuvenated, let us hope they will attend to the work of their constituencies which they have neglected for long.”

Party sources said all BJP MLAs were told by BS Yeddyurappa, the state BJP president, to maintain that they were in the resort to strategise for the general election, and that their stay was extended so they could rest.

A QUICK RECAP: A Congress legislature party meeting will take place on Friday in Bengaluru, and one of the four disgruntled party MLAs who went to Mumbai has returned. Meanwhile the BJP MLAs at the Gurgaon resort have been asked to leave in batches, according to party sources.

News Credit: India Today

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