Of rebels, resort politics, and rumours

Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy speaking to the media before attending the JDSLP meeting in Hassan on Saturday.  

In a day packed with high political drama, Saturday saw rumours running thick and fast about some “rebel” MLAs of the ruling coalition being lured away to a resort outside the State by the Opposition BJP to bring down the government, and the Congress and JD(S) rubbishing them as “false” and “malicious”.

Rumour mills began to spin early in the day after a video of Congress MLAs K. Sudhakar and M.T.B. Nagaraj, both aspirants for Cabinet berths, and Independent MLA for Mulbagal H. Nagesh travelling out of the city together going viral.

This set off speculation that they were headed to a resort in Mumbai via Chennai and some others (who remained unnamed) were already there. However, sources within the Congress said that some MLAs were trying to mount pressure on the coalition partners ahead of the Cabinet expansion exercise. Both the ruling parties have decided to expand the Cabinet only after the Legislative Council polls on October 4. Sources said that the party is unlikely to bow down to such pressure tactics. Later in the evening, both Congress and JD(S) senior leaders dismissed all rumours of any legislator changing loyalties.

‘Conversation recorded’

Speaking on the sidelines of the Janata Dal Legislature Party (JDSLP) meeting in Hassan, Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy said: “None of our MLAs are going with the BJP. I myself had sent our MLA Suresh Gowda to meet BJP leaders so that we could know what they would offer. We have recorded the conversation,” he said.

The Chief Minister added that he would complain to the Home Minister at the Centre after collecting details of the conservation that BJP leaders had with the MLAs of Congress and the JD(S). He said they wanted to create “Congress mukt Bharat” but were now falling at the feet of Congress MLAs to form the government.

Mr. Kumaraswamy also said all his party MLAs would take part in the meeting, except D.C. Gowrishankar, who has gone out on personal work.

In Bengaluru, KPCC president Dinesh Gundu Rao said the three legislators were in touch with the party and had only gone on a temple visit. “They will return to the city tomorrow,” he said, accusing the BJP of trying to create “unnecessary confusion in a desperate attempt to destabilise the government.”

In a related development, to iron out differences among the party legislators, former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah held a meeting with Anand Singh, MLA, and Minister Zameer Ahmed Khan at his residence here.

Later, Mr. Rao, Minister Krishna Byre Gowda, MLA Byrathi Suresh, and former MLAs Shivaraj Tangadagi and Ashok Pattan also called on the former Chief Minister. The purpose of meeting was not known.

Some Congress leaders said the coalition government would not be destabilised at least till next Parliamentary elections.

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Printable version | Jan 26, 2022 6:02:22 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/of-rebels-resort-politics-and-rumours/article25017378.ece

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