Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy, speaking at the United India Rally in Kolkata decried the state of the politics in the state. "The most ridiculous part which has become a national issue today is that of BJP leaders offering huge amount of cash for MLAs of Congress and JD(S), to resign and join them. Legislators are being treated like commodities. Perhaps this is the worst phase where the honour and pride of legislators is at stake. They are making mockery of democracy in Karnataka. This needs a serious look into the happenings of this unlawful activities of BJP," he said.
His statement comes even as Congress MLAs continued to stay put at the Eagleton resort in Ramanagara and are expected to return to Bengaluru until Monday. "BJP will try and poach our MLAs. All our MLAs are with us but they were trying to woo our MLAs and that's not been possible for them, which is why we are here at the resort. We are not worrying about it but we are taking precautions in the interest of the state", said Deputy CM G Parameshwara to explain the latest political crisis in the state.
Meanwhile, Water Resources Minister DK Shivakumar claimed that senior leaders are willing to make sacrifices to ensure the smooth running of the coalition government in Karnataka.
When asked by the media whether senior ministers in the Karnataka government are willing to resign in order to accommodate disgruntled legislators, Shivakumar said, “Including myself I’m telling you we are ready to sacrifice for the party, for the workers, for legislators. Party is important to us, we want to bring back our party with flying colours. That is the decision of the Congress party ministers meeting that we had three-four days ago. I voluntarily have offered (to resign)….In the interest of the party If my leaders want I’m ready.”
The decision to move the MLAs was taken after an emergency meeting of all its elected representatives on Friday which was convened three days after two independent MLAs withdrew their support for the JD(S)-Congress coalition government. There were several reports during the week of Congress MLAs camping in a Mumbai hotel and speaking to BJP leaders about potentially jumping ship. Four MLAs failed to turn up at the meeting - Ramesh Jarkiholi (MLA of Gokak), Mahesh Kumathalli (Athani), Umesh Jadhav (Chincholi) and B Nagendra ( Ballari Rural).
BJP MLAs were camped in a resort in Gurugram since Monday having travelled to the national capital for a meeting with the party's central leadership ahead of the Lok Sabha elections. They returned to the state today under the orders of Opposition Leader BS Yeddyurappa.
The absence of the four legislators, however, does not post an imminent threat to the coalition government but it does open up the possibility of more MLAs jumping ship suggesting that all is not well within the Congress party.