Bol­ly­wood di­rec­tor Hi­rani ac­cused of sex­ual as­sault, de­nies charge

Camp­ing of BJP leg­is­la­tors in New Delhi sets tongues wag­ging; three Congress MLAs now in Mum­bai

The Hindu - - FRONT PAGE - Staff Re­porter

As Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leg­is­la­tors are in New Delhi for a party meet­ing in prepa­ra­tion for the Lok Sabha elec­tions, spec­u­la­tion is rife that the party is try­ing to woo MLAs from the rul­ing com­bine in or­der to top­ple the Kar­nataka govern­ment. The re­ported pres­ence of a few dis­grun­tled Congress MLAs, who were in­com­mu­ni­cado to their party lead­ers, in the na­tional cap­i­tal on Sun­day fur­ther fu­elled the spec­u­la­tion.

Wa­ter Re­sources Min­is­ter D.K. Shivaku­mar told re­porters in Ben­galuru that there was a “se­ri­ous con­spir­acy” to lure their MLAs and that party lead­ers were aware of what was be­ing of­fered to MLAs to switch sides.

‘Govt. will be stable’

“The MLAs have also told us of the over­tures be­ing made to them. At­tempts at horse­trad­ing are real. The BJP lead­ers have said there will be a change af­ter Sankranti. But the govern­ment will be stable,” he said.

He added that three MLAs who had been to Delhi had re­turned and were now in Mum­bai, in­di­cat­ing a num­bers tus­sle was on between the rul­ing com­bine and the BJP. Asked about the iden­tity of the MLAs, he said he would not dis­close whether they were Congress MLAs or BJP MLAs.

How­ever, sources close to BJP State pres­i­dent B.S. Yed­dyu­rappa said nearly 20 MLAs were ready to re­sign and switch camps, and a cri­sis was likely to be pre­cip­i­tated in the com­ing week.

BJP sources also said that this time — in a third at­tempt since May 2018 to form the govern­ment — the party’s Cen­tral lead­er­ship was in­volved and would take the fi­nal call on the mat­ter, keep­ing the up­com­ing Lok Sabha elec­tion in mind.

Mean­while, an au­dio clip of Congress MLA Ganesh Hukkeri speak­ing to a jour­nal­ist about de­fect­ing to the BJP led to fur­ther spec­u­la­tion that the govern­ment’s fate was un­cer­tain. How­ever, sev­eral Min­is­ters from the rul­ing com­bine, in­clud­ing Satish Jark­i­holi, D.C. Tham­manna, N.H. Shivashankar Reddy, and Venkatara­manappa, de­nied re­ports of de­fec­tion and claimed the BJP’s ‘Op­er­a­tion Ka­mala’ would fail and the govern­ment would re­main stable.

Shah to meet leg­is­la­tors

BJP na­tional pres­i­dent Amit Shah is sched­uled to meet party leg­is­la­tors on Mon­day morn­ing to de­lib­er­ate on prepa­ra­tions and a strat­egy for the com­ing Lok Sabha elec­tion. The meet­ing was orig­i­nally sched­uled for Sun­day evening, but Mr. Shah did not turn up. State in­charge P. Mu­ralid­hara Rao presided over a meet­ing of BJP leg­is­la­tors along with party State pres­i­dent B.S. Yed­dyu­rappa in­stead.

Mr. Rao said the na­tional lead­er­ship had set a clear task for the party cadre — to con­cen­trate on the booths and work to get 51% of the votes. To this end, they have to get at least five new vot­ers in ev­ery booth to en­rol as a mem­ber of the party.

Page 7

Con­spir­acy the­ory: Min­is­ter D.K. Shivaku­mar said in Ben­galuru that there was a “se­ri­ous con­spir­acy” to woo their MLAs.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.