Cong doing 'Operation Lotus' on BJP: KSE

BJP State president K S Eshwarappa on Thursday said the Congress party was indulging in a ‘Operation Lotus’-like exercise, by directly making the BJP MLAs resign.

 Eshwarappa, who is also the deputy chief minister, said, “The Congress earlier threatened Yeddyurappa by ordering the CBI probe against him. Out of fear, he quit the party and also made some BJP MLAs resign and join KJP.

“Once it realised that no more BJP MLAs are interested in joining the KJP, the Congress has entered the field directly. It is luring the BJP MLAs with party tickets for the next Assembly polls and making them resign. Yeddyurappa, when he was the chief minister, was accused of getting stability to the BJP through Operation Lotus. The Congress is now doing the same.”

The BJP leader said the tactics adopted by the Congress would be explained to the people during the electioneering. The BJP would not hesitate to tell voters that the Congress tried its best to destabilise a government headed by a Lingayat from north Karnataka, he said.

To a question as to what the BJP would do if its strength continues to slide, Eshwarappa said that at present, the government has the required numbers to stay in power.

“In case somebody wants us to prove our majority on the floor of the House, we will face it,” he said. The minister said that at this juncture, the party is focusing all its energy on the ULB elections.

Cabinet meeting

Shettar has convened the State cabinet meeting on February 25. This led to speculations that he may take some hard decisions, like recommending dissolution of the Assembly.

However, Eshwarappa said that the Cabinet meeting, which was to be held on Thursday, has been put off to Monday as many ministers are busy with the urban local body elections as February 23 is the last day for filing nomination papers. The chief minister is not holding any special Cabinet meeting, he said.

‘Party hoppers are like dogs and foxes’

BJP MLA Suresh Gowda on Thursday likened his party MLAs who have turned party hoppers to ‘dogs and foxes’.

Irked by a question by the media whether he was joining the Congress party, Gowda said, “Yeddyurappa was like a father figure. Even now, I have respect for him as I could do a lot of work in my constituency because of him. But those who are quitting the party now are like dogs and foxes. They had relished whatever the party offered to them. Now, like ragpickers, they are standing before other parties. Why should I quit the party? I will live like a tiger in my constituency.”

Gowda, who represents Tumkur Rural constituency in the Assembly, is considered a winning horse by all parties, including the Congress. Therefore, the Congress is keen on making him quit the BJP.

At one stage, he was a close associate of Yeddyurappa. Tumkur MP G S Basavaraj had once said that Gowda had turned his constituency into a model one.

Gowda said that if he joins the Congress, then he would be made to stand with folded hands before the houses of Siddaramaiah, Parameshwara, Mallikarjuna Kharge and others to get work done.

“Why should I reach such a stage? The Congress will finish outsiders who join the party.” he said.

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