Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy on Wednesday reiterated that the coalition government run by the the Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) alliance in the state was running smoothly, a day after two independent legislators withdrew support.
“It is not necessary for me to carry out any [poaching] operation, actually there is sufficient numbers with me,” PTI quoted Kumaraswamy as saying. “Everything is under control... don’t worry.” The ruling coalition now has 116 legislators in the 224-member Karnataka Legislative Assembly, while the BJP has 104 MLAs. The majority mark is 113.
Kumaraswamy dismissed media reports that claimed his party MLAs were being moved to a resort, saying there was no need for it. “So I request media not to fool itself and the people of the state,” he added.
Of the five Congress legislators who are allegedly in Mumbai under the BJP’s control, Kumaraswamy said he was in contact with them. “I have been saying for the past three days that they are in touch with me, I am in know of all the developments,” he said. “They may not be reachable to others, but they are reachable to me...”
Meanwhile, Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara and Congress Legislature Party leader Siddaramaiah met Congress General Secretary KC Venugopal, who is in charge of Karnataka, in Bengaluru on Wednesday.
When asked if the BJP was trying to destabilise the mahagathbandhan, or grand alliance, Parameshwara said he saw a “bigger scheme”, reported ANI. “Our [Congress-JD(S)] oath was attended by most non-BJP friends [and] was a kind of mahagathbandhan,” he said. “If Congress-JDS are unsuccessful here, message will be that the bigger alliance will fail. Maybe they [BJP] were trying that.”
Venugopal said he was in touch with all the legislators from his party. “This drama is going to end in a day or a two,” he told ANI. “We are all together, there is no internal fight in Congress. This is all baseless.” A Congress Legislature Party meeting is scheduled to be held in Bengaluru on Friday.
State Congress chief Dinesh Gundu Rao said the state government was “safe and sound”. “Plans to destabilise our govt using corrupt, unethical, unconstitutional means by Amit Shah, BS Yeddyurappa and the BJP has come a cropper,” he tweeted.
He said not a single Congress MLA will resign or join the BJP. “Media, instead of questioning the stability of our government, should be exposing the unholy methods of BJP,” he said. “Why is the media so silent on this issue, so soft on BJP?”
State minister and Congress leader Zameer Ahmed said the two or three MLAs in Mumbai would return to the state on Thursday, ANI reported. “Who is scared today?” he asked. “Had we been scared, it would’ve been us in the resort sitting with our MLAs. But it is BJP who is sitting with their MLAs in a resort.”
The BJP flew 101 of its 104 MLAs to a hotel in Gurugram on Monday night amid allegations of “horse-trading”.