No threat to coalition government in Karnataka: Congress
New Delhi: Amid reports of poaching of its MLAs by the BJP, the Congress on Wednesday said there was no threat to the coalition government in Karnataka and that the BJP’s attempts to destabilize a “stable coalition” will not succeed.
Addressing a press conference here, Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge said he has spoken to senior leaders of the party as well as Karnataka Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy and they have assured him that there was no threat to the ruling coalition.
“The BJP’s attempts won’t succeed. Our government is strong and it will prevail. There is no threat to the coalition,” he said.
Earlier in the day, Kumaraswamy had also said there was no threat to his government.
Accusing the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of misleading the MLAs and the public, Kharge said it was approaching MLAs saying “we (BJP) have already got your 11 MLAs, you join us and we will have 12”.
“There is nothing like that. The BJP is trying to mislead the MLAs through spreading rumours,” he said adding that while the BJP may believe in forming a government through ‘jod-tod’ (defection), it won’t succeed in doing so in Karnataka.
He asked if the BJP was so sure of its own MLAs from Karnataka, why was it keeping them holed up in a resort in Gurugram.
Congress workers on Wednesday protested outside the hotel where about 90 BJP MLAs from Karnataka have been put up amidst political developments back home where the Congress-JD(S) government was jolted by two Independent MLAs withdrawing support to it.
The ruling coalition partners JD-S-Congress and the opposition BJP have been trading charges of poaching each others’ legislators for the past few days.
On Tuesday, R. Shankar, a legislator from Ranebennur Assembly segment in Haveri district, belonging to the regional Karnataka Pragnavantha Janata Party (KPJP), and H. Nagesh, an Independent from Mulbagal constituency in Kolar district, withdrew their support to the coalition.
Responding to the political developments, JD-S supremo H.D. Deve Gowda stressed that the coalition government continued to remain “stable”.
In the 225-member Legislative Assembly, including one nominated Speaker, the Congress has 80 legislators, JD-S 37, and the BJP 104, while one Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) MLA continues to support the coalition after one Independent Nagesh and the KPJP legislator Shankar withdrew their support.