Two Independent lawmakers of Karnataka-- H Nagesh and R Shankar -- have withdrawn support from the HD Kumaraswamy government. The move comes amid drama over the BJP accusing Mr Kumaraswamy of attempting to poach on their lawmakers and shifting more than a hundred of them to a resort in Gurgaon near Delhi. In the 224-member Karnataka Assembly, the JDS-Congress combine has 118 lawmakers - a slim margin over the majority mark of 113. With 104 lawmakers, the BJP is far short of majority. The Congress has claimed that five of its lawmakers are missing and accused the BJP of launching another "Operation Lotus" - a term coined in 2008, when the BJP was accused of inciting several opposition legislators to defect to ensure the stability of its government headed by Mr Yeddyurappa.
Here are the LIVE updates of the Karnataka situation:
"It won't look nice for me to comment on the situation there. There are local leaders," Ms Banerjee said.
Asked about allegations that the BJP was poaching other leaders, the Trinamool Congress supremo said, "This is an old game... there is nothing new. There had been similar things in some parts of Northeast and Goa."
The Water Conservation, Protocol and OBC Minister said:
"People of Karnataka had given the mandate in favour of BJP (in 2018 polls), but we fell short by some numbers (to form government). As the Congress-JD (S) alliance has been on a sticky wicket, there are indications that the (Kumaraswamy) government would come down in two days," he told reporters.
Mr Gowda said the Kumaraswamy government would collapse on its own due to squabbling and that the Congress-JDS ''friendship" was on the "brink of divorce".
"The friendship is at the brink of divorce. It is time for break-up. A party with 37 seats has formed the government. It will collapse on its own due to squabbling. If the government collapses, we will certainly form the government," he told reporters.
Mr Gowda was replying to a query on whether there was any likelihood of the BJP staking claim to power in the event of the collapse of the coalition government.
Operation Lotus seems to have commenced. Wonder how many days will these MLAs be holed up in hotels/ resorts for. Of course they will have no cellular reception or means to contact people.- Mehbooba Mufti (@MehboobaMufti) January 15, 2019
Ps - Irony died a thousand deaths because the hotels name is "The Grand Bharat". https://t.co/0NVOnBcpTA
"We are confident that the Kumaraswamy government will continue. Even though they are offering a lot of things to our MLAs, we are very confident," he said.
"We are in touch with all our MLAs. Our people are with us. Our government will continue," he added.
Speaking to reporters after a marathon meeting with Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Siddaramaiah, Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara, Water Resources Minister D K Shivakumar and others, Mr Venugopal alleged that the BJP has been attempting to pull down the government since the day Kumaraswamy took over.
Lashing out at the BJP, the Congress leader said, "Ugly, dirty attempt of horse-trading being made by the BJP is creating this situation. I wonder why the ruling party of the country is doing things like this."
"The day the Kumaraswamy government was sworn in, they (BJP) started these types of things. What message are they giving? They are keeping their MLAs in a resort," Mr Venugopal said.
They must have thought that they should join BJP that received the mandate instead of those who formed unnatural alliance. I'm getting a feeling that Operation Lotus will be successful in the coming days.
"It is not in anybody''s hands, including the media. However much you cry hoarse, nothing will happen because it is in the hands of God. When a party (JDS) of 38 MLAs gets the blessings of a national party (Congress), it is all the wish of God," he said.
"You are under some confusion (about the stability of the government) as also is Yeddyurappa, but I have no such confusion. Nobody can destabilise the government because it is the wish of God," the JD(S) supremo said.
Mr Gowda also criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi over allegations that Rs 60 crore and ministerial positions were offered to the MLAs of the ruling coalition by the BJP.
"Does it look good that a national party (BJP) is hoarding its 104 MLAs? I am not talking about Amit Shah but Modi, who talks a lot throughout the day," he said.
"All our MLAs are together at home. We are not worried about them," he added.
Mr Gowda said the Congress was unnecessarily worried.
"(K C) Venugopal (AICC general secretary in-charge of Karnataka affairs) has arrived here because he must have been shook after listening to some news, but there is no need for any confusion," he said.
"The reason that our MLAs had to be kept in a resort points to the ill-intentions of the coalition partners Congress and Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S)," he added.
Mr. Saaf Niyat @narendramodi,
Is allowing your disgraceful @BJP4Karnataka leaders to destabilize govt a 'Saaf Niyat' towards democracy?
Your PR slogans does not hide your actual 'Niyat' & your 'Sahi Vikas' should go beyond developing Resorts.
First show your Niyat to people!!