- 104 BJP lawmakers were staying in a five-star resort in Gurgaon
- "Hearty welcome," sneered Congress as the lawmakers returned today
- Congress accuses BJP of a failed attempt to topple Karnataka coalition
Over 100 Karnataka lawmakers of the BJP will return to Bengaluru soon after their three-day stake-out at a luxury resort near Delhi. "Hearty welcome," sneered the state Congress, which accuses the BJP of a failed attempt to topple its coalition government with the Janata Dal Secular.
"We extend a hearty welcome to all Karnataka BJP MLAs who are returning home after an extended holiday at a luxury resort near Delhi. Now that they are sufficiently rejuvenated let us hope they will attend to the work of their constituencies which they have neglected for long," tweeted Karnataka Congress chief Dinesh Gundu Rao.
We extend a hearty welcome to all Karnataka BJP MLAs who are returning home after an extended holiday at a luxury resort near Delhi. Now that they are sufficiently rejuvenated let us hope they will attend to the work of their constituencies which they have neglected for long.- KPCC President (@KPCCPresident) January 17, 2019
The BJP lawmakers - all 104 of them - were staying in a five-star resort in Gurgaon where a room costs Rs 30,000. Their leader, former chief minister BS Yeddyurappa, and the legislators returned to Bengaluru this morning, saying they wanted to visit a prominent Lingayat seer, Shivakumara Swamiji of Siddaganga Mutt in Tumkur, who has taken ill.
Mr Yeddyurappa had said over the last few days that the BJP lawmakers were at the resort to "strategise for the national polls" due by May.
Asked about the allegations of Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy and the Congress that the BJP was working on "Operation Lotus (the BJP symbol)" - which describes attempts to poach lawmakers and stage a coup -- Mr Yeddyurappa claimed it was the Congress and Janata Dal Secular that were trying to induce BJP members to switch. He also said it was internal rivalry in the Congress that had caused a crisis in the government.
The ruling alliance seemed to be in for trouble when two independent lawmakers withdrew support, saying they did not trust the Kumaraswamy government. Given that five Congress legislators were "missing", it did not look good. The list included a Congress lawmaker, who was upset about being left out of the state cabinet.
By Wednesday evening, as two of the "missing" lawmakers surfaced in Bengaluru, denying they had anything to do with the BJP, the government was confident that the worst was over.
"The drama of 'Operation Kamala' (lotus) has ended. No attempt to destabilise the coalition government will be effective as we have the support of all our legislators," Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara of the Congress said.