- Fresh trouble for Congress-JDS coalition as 11 Karnataka lawmakers quit
- Congress has accused BJP, PM Modi of engineering the resignations
- BJP denied any role but said it was ready to form government in the state
The Congress on Saturday launched a blistering attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP, saying that the party had orchestrated the resignations of nearly a dozen legislators in Karnataka, spelling fresh trouble for the ruling coalition.
"MODI means Mischievously Orchestrated Defections in India," Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala told journalists, referencing the Prime Minister's last name and borrowing his knack for coining acronyms.
"It's very unfortunate that the BJP is trying to bring down a democratically elected government with offers of money and power. Democracy is being denigrated in broad daylight," the Congress leader said.
The BJP has denied any role in the resignations of the Congress lawmakers but said it was "ready" to form the government in the Karnataka if invited by the governor.
"There have been at least 12 instances of the BJP trying to buy its way into government. It started in Arunachal, and we saw what happened in Assam, Tripura, Goa, Uttarakhand and Maharashtra," Mr Surjewala said.
"In Bengal, the PM himself said that 30 legislators were in touch with him. If the Prime Minister himself becomes a facilitator of such corrupt practises, where do we go?" he added.
The Congress-Janata Dal coalition government in Karnataka appeared to be teetering on the edge with 11 lawmakers submitting their resignation on Saturday.
Eight Congress and three Janata Dal Secular legislators have submitted their resignation to the office of assembly speaker in his absence. They claimed in all 14 legislators of the ruling coalition are quitting. If these legislators do quit, the coalition may lose its majority.
The year-old coalition, wobbly from the start, has struggled with revolt and infighting since it came to power in May last year. This time, it is Congress loyalist Ramalinga Reddy who is preparing to cross over with a group if lawmakers.
The Congress and JDS together have 116 in the 224-member state assembly where 113 is the majority mark. The coalition will crash if 14 lawmakers quit.