Congress leader DK Shivakumar is the Deputy Chief Minister of Karnataka (File).
No Congress leader can be "poached", Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar told NDTV Friday, a day after exit polls gave the party a surprise win over the BRS in the Telangana Assembly election and an outside shot at defeating the BJP in the Madhya Pradesh polls.
The tight race expected in Madhya Pradesh - three of six exit polls have given the Congress a slight edge - has triggered talk of "resort politics", which is when political parties stash MLAs at luxury resorts or hotels, and mount a 24x7 guard, to prevent them from joining rival outfits.
Reports suggest the party will send its Madhya Pradesh election winners - assuming there are enough to challenge the BJP in a state it has dominated for close to two decades - to Karnataka.
READ | BJP May Keep Madhya Pradesh But Congress Close: NDTV Poll Of Polls
The Congress had won back the southern state from the BJP earlier this year.
"Our national and state leaders are confident. No Congress MLA can be bought or poached," Mr Shivakumar, who played a key role in the party's Karnataka win, told NDTV this afternoon.
He said those speaking of "resort politics" were "not properly informed".
"This is a rumour. Congress leaders are confident that all our MLAs are loyal. They have seen 'Operation Lotus' (allegations the BJP poaches opposition lawmakers) and it won't be successful."
Mr Shivakumar also said his sources had told him Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, or KCR, had already approached several Congress leaders. "This will not happen," he stressed.
The Congress is widely expected to defeat the BRS that has ruled Telangana since its formation in 2014; exit polls indicate it will get at least 62 seats in the 119-member Assembly and the BRS 44.
READ | KCR In Trouble In Telangana As Congress Surges Ahead: NDTV Poll Of Polls
A restrained Mr Shivakumar told NDTV that while he, personally, did not believe exit polls, his own post-poll surveys and calculations have pointed to a big Congress win.
"Personally I don't believe in exit polls... this is my personal opinion. When I do my own surveys I take a sample of over a lakh. What the media does is take a sample size of 5,000-6,000..."
"But I can see, in Telangana and other states, there is a big wave. People want change... they want the Congress to come to power in Madhya Pradesh and Telangana, and I hope this will happen."
"Whatever numbers are predicted (in Telangana) I think it will hold true," he said.
As for the Madhya Pradesh result, he slammed the BJP government as "the most corrupt" the state has ever had. "When the result will be out, there will be a Congress government here too," he said.
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