Oppn MLAs on BJP radar

Ruling party gears up to counter possible moves of 16 legislators

If the situation warrants, the party may resort to another round of ‘Operation Lotus’ to reduce the strength of the Opposition and make its position safer.

But as on Saturday, the BJP was confident it may not be pushed to such a situation.
According to sources, if the need arises, the ruling party could make some more legislators of the Congress and the JD(S) quit their parties.

Nearly half a dozen legislators of both the Opposition parties, including Rajashekara Patil, Amaregouda Bayyapur, Subash Guttedar and Mallikayya Guttedar, are keen to resign their membership and embrace the BJP, sources said.
111 members
In the 225-member Assembly, the ruling party presently has 111 members (including the Speaker and one nominated member). The magic number for simple majority is 113.

The government needs only two more members to survive any threat -- if the Opposition moves a no-confidence motion, or the chief minister has to prove the majority.

“Efforts are being made to woo the rebel party MLAs. Some of them are in touch with us. If the rebels stick to their stand and refuse to budge, the party will resort to Operation Lotus and make at least three MLAs of Opposition parties resign,” sources said.

The BJP is not keen on wooing the five Independent MLAs. Opposition party legislators, who are either dissatisfied in their parties or those in deep financial trouble, are on the BJP’s radar. Those belonging to the Lingayat community are also on its list.

Giving jitters

The emergence of Yeddyurappa as a Lingayat leader, especially in North Karnataka, has given the jitters to the legislators belonging to the community in the Opposition parties.

Many of them are under pressure from the community pontiffs not to go against Yeddyurappa, sources said.

May overthrow

Besides, the legislators fear that Yeddyurappa’s clout among the religious leaders of the community would result in their defeat in the next elections.

It was the reason for Sanganna Karadi of the JD(S) to recently resign as Koppal MLA and join the BJP. Karadi saw a threat to his political career when his son lost in the Zilla Panchayat election in Koppal.

As many as 13 MLAs of the Congress and the JD(S) have falled prey to Operation Lotus so far.

BJP to issue whip

The ruling BJP has decided to issue a whip to all its MLAs, including the 11 rebel legislators, while passing the Appropriation Bill to secure the Legislature’s sanction for the expenditure projected in the 2011-12 annual financial statement during the extended budget session convened from May 16.

Issuing a whip is seen as a strategy by the BJP to prove its majority in the House, sources said. Those who violate the whip can be disqualified from the membership of the House, under the anti-defection law. The BJP has convened its legislature party meeting on May 16 at noon at a hotel on Raj Bhavan Road, reports DHNS from Bangalore.

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