BJP luring 30 Congress MLAs, says Siddu

Last Updated 23 October 2010, 13:55 IST

"We have evidence to show that Shobha Karandlaje (power minister) has been in touch over phone with our legislators to lure them (into BJP)," Siddaramaiah, the leader of the opposition, told reporters here.

He took Karandlaje’s name for the second time in one week as one of the ministers involved in wooing Congress legislators to resign from the assembly and join the BJP.
Karandlaje, a close associate of Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa and the state's lone woman minister, had denied Siddaramaiah’s charges against her early this week.

“We do not have any CDs (compact discs) but we have other documentary evidence to show who is being offered what. We will make it public soon,” the Congress leader said.
He reiterated that BJP was offering Rs.25 crore to Rs.50 crore for each Congress legislator and promising them chairmanship of lucrative state run corporations and boards if they resign from the assembly and join BJP.

Siddaramaiah was confident that no more of his party legislators will fall prey to BJP’s inducements.

Two Congress and one Janata Dal-Secular law maker have resigned in the last week allegedly at the instance of BJP.

The BJP is trying to save its first government in the state following 11 party legislators and five Independent law makers expressing lack of confidence in Yeddyurappa Oct 6.
The 16 have been disqualified and their appeal against it is pending in the high court.

The rebellion by 11 BJP legislators has reduced the party’s strength to 106 in the 225-member house that includes one nominated. If the disqualification of the 16 is upheld by the court, the effective strength of the house will come down to 209 till by-polls are held to fill these vacancies.

Yeddyurappa, who has been rebutting charges against his party’s alleged effort to buy opposition law makers, Saturday said a retired judge of the high court will be asked to probe "attempts to destabilise" his government.

He told reporters near Kundapura, about 350 kms from here, that the probe by the retired judge will bring out the truth about people behind attempts to bring down his government.

He said the name of the retired judge and other details will be announced after the high court gives its verdict on the appeal of the 16 disqualified legislators.

Judgement on the appeal of the 11 BJP legislators has been reserved by judge V.G. Sabhahit while the petition of the five Independents will be heard by a two-judge bench on Nov 2. The judges are yet to be named.

After the 16 law makers expressed no confidence in Yeddyurappa, he has twice won the trust vote in the assembly. The first on Oct 11 came during chaos while in the second one on Oct 14 he got 106 votes in favour with 100 against.

(Published 23 October 2010, 13:55 IST)

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