DKS says HDK silent on ‘Operation Lotus’
Bengaluru: On a day filled with rumours over the BJP’s “Operation Lotus”, Water Resources Minister D K Shivakumar said Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy is “not exposing” the saffron party.
Shivakumar went on to say that Kumaraswamy was, in fact, being “lenient” towards the BJP, despite being aware of its attempts to destabilise the coalition government.
The minister also said that Congress Legislature Party leader Siddaramaiah and KPCC president Dinesh Gundu Rao were also aware of the developments, but they are not doing anything.
Shivakumar’s statements have raised eyebrows in political circles.
Speaking to reporters in Bengaluru, the minister said that if he was given the freedom, he would have exposed everything in 24 hours.
Rumours are rife that six to eight Congress MLAs are ready to jump ship to the BJP and that the saffron fold is planning to take its legislators to a resort in Mumbai.
“By claiming that it will form the government after Sankranti, the BJP has been trying to cause confusion and uncertainty… The Congress MLAs have gathered all the evidence against the BJP,” he said.
“The MLAs also have evidence about the methods of trying to poach them. They have informed the chief minister about the conspiracies that are being hatched for horse trading – the conversations that have taken place, and the money being transferred,” Shivakumar added.
Shivakumar also said that three MLAs were at present in Mumbai and that he was keeping track of the developments.
“I am aware that three MLAs are presently in Mumbai. I know why they have gone there and the hotel they are staying in. The other MLAs are in their constituencies. If I reveal the names of the three MLAs who are in Mumbai, the media will report it, and it will disturb them. So I will not reveal their names,” he said.
The minister, however, added to the intrigue by saying that the three legislators could belong to either the BJP or the Congress.
“I merely said that three MLAs are in Mumbai. I didn’t say whether they were from the BJP or the Congress. It will soon be revealed whether BJP MLAs are with the Congress or vice versa. You (media) are free to get their flight details,” he added.
Shivakumar maintained that the BJP’s efforts to destabilise the government would come to nought.
Slams probe agencies
Shivakumar said that though Rao had lodged complaints against the BJP with the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) and the Income Tax department, the agencies have not taken any action.
“On behalf of the Congress, the KPCC president filed a complaint before the ACB and I-T department about the BJP’s attempts to lure our MLAs. The investigating agencies, however, should not sit quietly on such complaints,” he added.
‘Hukkeri won’t defect’
When asked about the controversy surrounding Chikkodi-Sadalga MLA Ganesh Hukkeri’s defection to the BJP, Shivakumar said that the MLA would not jump to the saffron party.
“Ganesh Hukkeri is the chief whip of the party. His father (Prakash Hukkeri) is an MP. He is a party loyalist. He is, in fact, getting ready for the elections – he is not foolish,” the minister said.
Shivakumar also said that disgruntled MLA B C Patil, too, would not defect to the BJP and that the party would give him a suitable position soon.