BJP fails to bring home dissident MLAs

Last Updated 09 October 2010, 15:16 IST

BJP emissaries in Goa virtually conceded as much and Revenue Minister Renukacharya, who originally led the dissidents and now back in Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa's camp, said in Panaji that "they (the dissidents) have struck a secret understanding with the JD(S)".

With just a day left for the crucial trial of strength in the state Assembly on Monday, rebel MLA Anand Asnotikar told reporters outside the Panaji airport before returning to Chennai rpt Chennai that they have not been kidnapped.

Renukacharya, who has been deserted by the dissidents, said the MLAs have cheated the people of their constituencies by taking "huge amounts" to go with the Opposition.
JD(S) leader and Lok Sabha member N Cheluvarayaswamy told reporters at Goa airport:

"We will win (Yeddyurappa government would lose trust vote). They (the dissidents) Congress and we (JDS) have the required numbers (to form the government).
Cheluvarayaswamy was seen at Goa airport along with party leader Zameer Ahmed and
BJP dissident MLA H S Shankaralinge Gowda.

Earlier in the day, a high-voltage political drama had unfolded at a five-star hotel in Panaji when 11 dissident legislators who were in a meeting with BJP emissaries were taken out and to the airport.

At the hotel gate, police had cordoned the entire area and legislators were put into four jeeps taken in strict protection. The BJP leaders alleged "some goons" took away 11 legislators who were "dragged" inside cars.

"They (the dissident MLAs) were sitting in a meeting when suddenly goons appeared from nowhere and took them away. We were stunned," BJP MP from Goa Sripad Naik, who took part in the parleys, told the media outside the hotel.

"The legislators did not want to go but they were dragged and dumped into the vehicles," Naik said.

BJP spokesman Ramnath Kovind charged in Delhi that some Congress leaders and policemen in plain clothes had taken away the rebel MLAs. Renukacharya, who was the last one to walk out of the hotel along with BJP supporters, said Janata Dal (S) leader Kumarswamy's close aide Jamir Ahmad was leading the pack of goons who kidnapped the legislators.

Dissident BJP legislators were holed up in the hotel since Thursday. Sources said BJP leaders had held video conferencing with their central leaders in Delhi to bring round the dissidents.

Karnataka Governor H R Bhardwaj said he was closely observing the political developments in the state and would take a final decision after looking into them. "I am watching the developments closely. After looking into the developments, the final decision will be mine," he told reporters' replying to queries.

Asked whether the 11 rebel MLAs to whom notices have been served by Speaker K G Bopaiah would be disqualified, Bhardwaj said "there is a law under the Constitution and the Speaker is bound by the law. He has to follow the procedure".

(Published 09 October 2010, 15:01 IST)

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