Minutes before a joint delegation from the Congress and JD(S) reached the residence of Governor Vajubhai Vala to stake claim to form the government in Karnataka, the BJP on Wednesday made some startling allegations.
Chikmaagaluru-Udupi MP and BJP State General Secretary Shobha Karandlaje alleged that phones of BJP leaders are being tapped in the wake of a fractured verdict.
"Karnataka government is again playing dirty politics. They are tapping our phones - myself, GM Siddeshwara and PC Mohan. (We) already complained to Lok Sabha Speaker, the Home Minister of India and the Karnataka IG and DG. They should take action immediately. That is our demand. We have complained to the Home Minister, IG and DG," Shobha said.
"After the election results, no party has got the majority. That's why many political developments are happening in Karnataka. That's why the Karnataka government wants to tap our phones and listen to what we talk about the leaders and with our leaders," she added.
Responding to a question on how they realised their phones were being tapped, Shobha said, "We got to know from agencies. Many messages and information have been leaked."
Three BJP MPs from Karnataka writes to Home Ministry alleging their phones are being tapped by Karnataka State Govt pic.twitter.com/2bQaUtdzqf— Arvind Gunasekar (@arvindgunasekar) May 16, 2018
As things stand, the BJP which is the single largest party is nine short of the magic figure of 112 in the 222-seat assembly. Elections for the two seats in Bengaluru are set to be held later.
But the Congress and the JD(S) has stitched together a post-poll alliance with sufficient numbers to form a government.
Both parties have alleged that the BJP misused the Constitutional provisions in Manipur, Meghalaya and Goa, and have accused it of indulging in horse trading.
KPCC general secretary Nivedith Alva called this a distractionary tactic.
He claimed, "This is not a hung Assembly. Two parties have come together. We are altogether 117, including the two Independents who have joined the Congress. For what reason do we need to tap phones when they are trying to poach our MLAs?"
Allegations of snooping on political opponents is not new to Karnataka. The Congress had made a similar claim in the past.
Former state Home Minister Ramalinga Reddy had accused the Centre of tapping telephonic conversations of Congress leaders. Even senior leaders like DK Shivakumar and Dinesh Gundu Rao made similar allegations in the past.