1 independent MLA supports BJP; Cong, JD-S MLAs go missing

Last Updated: Wed, May 16, 2018 12:41 hrs

Outgoing Karnataka state Chief Minister Siddaramaiah (L) and Janata Dal (Secular) leader HD Kumaraswamy (R). Image: ANI

Bengaluru: One of the two independent MLAs in Karnataka has given his written support to Yeddyurappa. The state's Congress Party leaders have alleged that the Bharatiya Janata Party is trying to "poach" their MLAs in an attempt to establish majority to form the government in Karnataka.

"They (BJP) are poaching our MLAs, and we know that. Every day, there is a lot of pressure. But it not so easy, as two parties have the necessary numbers. However, we are taking all necessary steps," Congress leader DK Shivakumar told ANI.

On being asked whether Congress MLAs in Karnataka would be shifted elsewhere, Shivakumar claimed that a plan has been chalked out to safeguard the former.

Echoing a similar stance, another Congress leader, Ramalinga Reddy, also claimed that the BJP was "trying hard" to get his party MLAs on their side.

Reports on Wednesday morning said three Karnataka lawmakers went "incommunicado" and that an orange alert was sent out across the Congress-Janata Dal Secular (JDS) combine, which has the brightest chance to form the government after Tuesday’s hung verdict.

But Siddaramaiah has rubbished such reports, stating: “All Congress MLAs are here. Nobody is missing. We are confident of forming government.”

Karnataka’s Congress chief Siddaramaiah has vehemently denied reports today that three Congress MLAs were missing from a morning meeting of newly-elected lawmakers.

The meeting of newly-elected Congress legislators was delayed on Wednesday morning as the party couldn't communicate with the three -- Rajshekhar Patil, Narendra and Anand Singh, NDTV reported.

Another Congress lawmaker claimed he had been approached by the BJP.

“I got a call from the BJP leaders. They said come to us and we'll give a ministry to you. We'll make you a minister. But I'm going to stay here. H D Kumaraswamy is our chief minister,” Congress’ Amaregouda Linganagouda Patil Bayyapur told news agency ANI.

At 11:05 am, ANI reported JD(S)' lawmakers Raja Venkatappa Nayaka and Venkata Rao Nadagouda are also missing from the JD(S) legislative party meeting which was on in a Bengaluru hotel.

“They (BJP) are poaching our MLAs… we know that. There is a lot of pressure every day. It is not easy to break us as we have the necessary numbers. People are watching this,” Congress’ D K Shivakumar said.

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