BENGALURU: Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy on Saturday reiterated that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is trying to poach its legislators to topple the state government, a charge rubbished by former CM BS Yeddyurappa.
"Operation Kamal is still on. Last night they (BJP) offered one of our MLAs huge amount of money. You'll be surprised to know the amount. Our MLA told them he doesn't need any gift and not to try these things with him. This is how they are still working on poaching," he claimed.
Former state chief minister and CLP leader Siddaramaiah also accused BJP of attempting to poach legislators. "They have Benami money which they have earned through corruption. With that corruption money they tried and failed."
But Yeddyurappa, in turn, pinned the blame on the Janata Dal Secular-Congress government in the state for not being able to keep its MLAs together. "We aren't indulging in any Operation Kamal. Their MLAs are trying to go away from them due to their internal fight. It's their duty to keep them intact. They should stop giving baseless statements against us," he said.
Operation Lotus is a reference to an event in 2008 when the BJP allegedly tried to lure several opposition MLAs to resign their assembly membership and defect and win the election on the saffron party ticket later to ensure the stability of its then-government headed Yeddyurappa.
The Chief Minister's allegation comes days after Yeddyurappa said the BJP would not destabilise the ruling coalition.
There has been political unrest across the state for several days with the government trying to keep its numbers intact amid allegations of poaching by the BJP. Giving fuel to the allegations, two independent MLAs had withdrawn their support to the coalition government last week.
Recently, all 104 BJP MLAs had stayed in a hotel in Gurugram for some days while the Congress too shifted its legislators to a resort. Subsequently, the MLAs returned to the city last week.
Four Congress MLAs had skipped a crucial legislature party meeting on January 18, indicating all is not well within the party.