Cong MLA in Karnataka quits, party alleges poaching
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Last Updated: Tuesday, October 19, 2010, 23:46
Bangalore: An opposition Congress MLA in Karnataka on Tuesday resigned from the House, after which the party's top leaders staged a sit-in protest in front of Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa's house here accusing the ruling BJP of engineering poaching.

The police broke up the sit-in by taking into custody 70 Congress leaders, including former chief minister Siddharamaiah and PCC President R V Deshpande, some MLAs and other party workers.

The Congress leaders were in the midst of a meeting at a five-star hotel when the news of the resignation of party MLA S V Ramachandra reached them.

The leaders adjourned the meeting, went to the chief minister's official residence and staged the sit-in shouting slogans.

Jagalur MLA Ramachandra submitted his resignation to Speaker K G Bopaiah.

However, when the Speaker's office did not respond to Congress' plea for a clarification, the party leaders led by Siddaramaiah and Dehspande staged the dharna in front of the Yeddyurappa residence.

Accusing BJP of reviving "operation lotus" to lure MLAs from opposition, Siddharamaiah alleged the Yeddyurappa government was mired in scams and warned if BJP tried poach Congress MLAs the ruling party has to face serious consequences.

BJP has been luring Congress and JD(S) MLAs in a bid to give stability to its government in the wake of uncertainty that loomed large over it after sixteen rebels, including 11 saffron legislators, challenged their disqualification as members of the Assembly by Bopaiah. The issue is pending before the state high court.

Meanwhile, the Speaker's office evaded a response on the issue of Ramachandra's resignation letter.

Home minister R Ashok flayed the Congress protest outside the chief minister's house and accused oppositiion parties of holding eleven BJP MLAs hostage.

State BJP President K S Eswarappa, who had two days ago given a call to leaders of others parties to join his party, sought to distance from the reported resignation by Ramachandra.

"We have no role in it", Eswarappa said.


First Published: Tuesday, October 19, 2010, 23:46

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