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JDS, Congress MLAs will stay at same place to prevent poaching by BJP: Kumaraswamy

Janata Dal (Secular) has also shifted its newly-elected MLAs to a safe location in Hyderabad to prevent poaching from BJP. 

JDS, Congress MLAs will stay at same place to prevent poaching by BJP: Kumaraswamy

BENGALURU: Janata Dal (Secular) leader HD Kumaraswamy has said that the newly-elected MLAs of his party and their Congress counterparts will "stay united at the same place" in order to prevent "horse-trading" ahead of the trust vote in the state assembly.

"There is no question of fear, but we have to take some cautions because of previous experiences. We wanted to take special care to represent their (Congress and JD-S MLAs) living. We are not encouraging horse-trading. To stop it, they are living together," Kumaraswamy had told reporters late on Thursday.

Accusing the BJP of 'misusing its power', Kumaraswamy said that several MLAs have been contacted by the BJP.

"They are misusing the power. They are masters in misusing all constitutional institutions. All MLAs of JD(S) and Congress will stay united at the same place," he added.

On Wednesday, the Karnataka Governor had invited Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) BS Yeddyurappa to form the government and prove majority on the floor of the House in 15 days. 

Following this Congress and JD(S) filed a petition against this decision in top court.

The Congress filed a petition before the Supreme Court to postpone the swearing-in ceremony of Karnataka Chief Minister Yeddyurappa, which in an unprecedented overnight hearing on Thursday, refused to put a stay.

The top court sealed the deal in favour of the BJP, following which Yeddyurappa was sworn in as the 23rd Chief Minister of Karnataka. It also asked BSY to produce before it the letters he wrote to the state's Governor claiming support of MLAs for forming the government. 

The matter will be taken up by a top court bench on Friday.

The three-judge wants to vet the contents of the letters - basically to check whether the Governor’s decision to invite Yeddyurappa was an informed one.

The top court bench is also likely to get into the issue of the 15 days time given by the Governor to Yeddyurappa to prove his majority on the floor of the house. The Congress-JD(S) combine has argued that the long window will be misused by BJP to trigger defections from rival parties and engineer a majority in the assembly.

Results of the Karnataka Assembly polls announced on May 15 showed that the BJP had won 104 seats, emerging as the single largest party, while the Congress and JD(S) bagged 78 and 38 seats, respectively.

In a turn of events, the JD(S) and Congress forge a post-poll alliance and got the support of one Independent MLA, taking their collective number to 117.

While the BJP argued that they were the single largest party to be invited first by the Governor, the JD(S) and Congress said that 112 is the majority and Congress-JD(S) combined is at 117. 

The Supreme Court will hear the matter again on Friday at 10.30 am. Responding to which, Kumaraswamy said he is not worried about the apex court decision as they will show their strength in assembly.

"We are not bothered about the Supreme Court judgement tomorrow. We have to show our strength only on the floor of the house. We are taking care (of MLAs) for that," he said.

"All political leaders in the entire country are now watching the actions taken by the central government - how they are misusing the office. All the leaders have decided that to protest against the decision that was unconstitutional," he added.

"On Friday, in several places in the country protest rallies will be organised spontaneously by the people," he added.

Midnight action continued till the wee hours of Friday as Congress MLAs, lodged at Eagleton resort and JD(S) MLAs in Shangri-La hotel in Bengaluru, made their way to Hyderabad.

(With ANI inputs)