- 11 rebel lawmakers were taken from Bengaluru to Mumbai on a special plane
- Congress alleged that BJP's Rajeev Chandrasekhar arranged the flight
- "Would you blame Ratan Tata if MLAs went on a Vistara flight," he asked
Rajeev Chandrasekhar, the BJP parliamentarian today scoffed at allegations that he had organized the special flight to Mumbai for rebel Karnataka lawmakers soon after they resigned on Saturday, plunging the Congress-Janata Dal Secular coalition into a crisis. "Would you blame Ratan Tata if the MLAs (lawmakers) went on a Vistara flight," the Rajya Sabha member questioned on Wednesday.
"If travelling by a plane can bring down a government then everyone will use a plane, right? This was a chartered plane which has earlier been used by Congress leaders too. So instead of blaming the plane, they should blame instability of their coalition," Rajeev Chandrasekhar told NDTV.
"This is desperately grasping at straws. Somehow the Congress and the JDS want to lay the blame at the BJP's door. But the issue will now be resolved by the Supreme Court," he said.
Eleven lawmakers of the Congress and JDS were taken from Bengaluru to Mumbai in batches on the special plane. The lawmakers are currently at a five-star hotel in the financial capital and have refused to see Congress leader DK Shivakumar, who has been blocked by the Mumbai police from entering their hotel.
Refusing to take back their resignation, the rebels have asked the police for protection from Mr Shivakumar and other Congress and JDS lawmakers, and has gone to the Supreme Court accusing the Karnataka Speaker of deliberately not accepting their resignations.
The chartered plane belongs to Jupiter Capital Private Limited, of which Rajeev Chandrasekhar is founder and chairman.
The Congress says the plane ride is ample proof that the BJP engineered the crisis for its coalition government, which is fighting to survive after 14 exits.
Congress spokesperson KE Radhakrishna was quoted as telling news agency PTI that the plane was kept ready at Bengaluru's HAL Airport to fly the dissident legislators out as soon as they came out of the Governor's house after submitting their resignation.