Karnataka Congress summons MLAs to identify dissidents

Last Updated: Fri, Jan 18, 2019 09:25 hrs

New Delhi: A tense end game in Karnatakas latest political drama is set to play itself out on Friday, when the Congress has summoned a meeting of its legislators for a show of hands, seeking to identify turncoats with a warning that absentees will be expelled from the party.

The Congress, which has an alliance with the Janata Dal-Secular in the southern state, and the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party resumed an acrimonious verbal battle after a days rest, accusing each other of trying to poach their MLAs.

Some of the Congresss 80 MLAs were still missing, and thought to be in Mumbai, keeping up the suspense over their intentions. One of the alleged dissenters, B Nagendra, arrived in the state capital to attend a court hearing and rubbished speculation that he had been poached by the BJP, but was unsure if he would attend Fridays meeting.

I have come to the city for a court hearing. There is no operation (to poach Congress MLAs). I went to Mumbai for personal reasons as I have business there. I keep going there often, Nagendra said, insisting that he had never been out of contact.

I dont have any reason to be unhappy (with the Congress). Regarding the CLP {Congress Legislature Party} meeting, I have to see what happens with the court, if I have a hearing tomorrow as well, it might be difficult to attend, Nagendra said.

A senior Congress leader, who did not wish to be named, said the dissidents had been thwarted in their attempt to muster more support.