Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Karnataka state president BS Yeddyurappa has called back his party MLAs, who have been lodged in a 7-star hotel in Gurugram to avoid alleged poaching.
The development comes a day after the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Siddaramaiah said his party was shifting its MLAs to a resort to escape BJP’s alleged attempts to get them to shift sides.
The ruling Congress-JD(S) coalition and the opposition BJP in Karnataka are locked in a new battle, each accusing the other of poaching their MLAs.
In the 224-member Karnataka assembly, the Congress-JD(S) has the support of 118 MLAs combined while the BJP has 104.
On Friday (January 18), four dissenting MLAs failed Congress’s loyalty test and skipped the party’s legislature meeting in Bengaluru.
The meeting was supposed to show a united front against BJP’s alleged attempts to dislodge the HD Kumaraswamy-led government in the state.
While the absence of MLAs is not an imminent threat to the coalition, it has revealed that all is not well in the united front of the Congress-JD(S) coalition.
The BJP has accused the HD Kumaraswamy-led government of trying to split the party’s ranks by trying to poach its MLAs.
On the other hand, the Congress has claimed that five of its lawmakers went “missing” and accused the BJP of launching another “Operation Lotus”.
Operation Lotus is a term first coined in 2008, when the BJP was accused of inciting opposition MLAs to defect to ensure the Yeddyurappa government’s stability.
To form a government in Karnataka, the ruling party must have 113 seats.