Accusing the BJP of trying to bring down its coalition government in Karnataka by ‘purchasing’ their MLAs, the Congress on Saturday said political defections had now a new acronym “MODI — mischievously orchestrated defections in India”.
The sharp response came after its senior leaders held an emergency meeting in the war room to discuss the fluid political situation after 13 lawmakers of the ruling Congress-JD(S) alliance had submitted their resignation to the Speaker.
Senior leaders including Mallikarjuna Kharge, A.K. Antony, Ahmed Patel, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Anand Sharma, Mukul Wasnik, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Deependra Hooda and Randeep Surjewala discussed the situation.
The Congress already dispatched general secretary in charge of Karnataka, K.C. Venugopal, to Bengaluru to contain the crisis. In the 224-member Assembly, the ruling coalition has 118 members while the BJP has 105.
“The new word for aaya ram gaya ram [an expression for frequent defections] is MODI — mischievously orchestrated defections in India,” said communication chief Randeep Surjewala.
“The Karnataka government which is a joint government having complete majority under our democratic set up is now being sought to be pulled down by a spate of defections and resignations. MLAs are being bought in broad daylight,” he said.
“Democracy is being denigrated in broad daylight. Constitution is being trampled in broad daylight by the ruling BJP government at the Centre.” Aiming at Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah, he said if public offices that were meant to uphold the Constitution “abdicate” their duty, then there would be no democracy.
“If the Prime Minister and the government of the day are going to encourage defections to bring down elected governments who will protect the Constitution and democracy,” he asked and accused the BJP of doing it in 12 States in the past five years.
“We want to tell them [the BJP] that no effort of yours will ever succeed in denigrating India’s democracy or its laudable Constitution ...Constitution and democracy are above you,” he said.
Mr. Surjewala later tweeted, “Trampling of Constitution & Denigration of Democracy by BJP to topple elected govt of Karnataka by defections is their definition of ‘New India’.”