Senior Congress leader BK Hariprasad on Thursday trained his guns on Karnataka Legislative Council chairperson Basavaraj Horatti saying he "insulted" the Constitution by announcing his decision to join the BJP while holding office.
"By saying that he'll join BJP while holding a Constitutional office, Horatti has insulted the Constitution itself," Hariprasad, the leader of the opposition in the Council, told reporters. "We did not expect this from someone as senior as Horatti."
Hariprasad said people are free to join any party based on ideology. "But, it's not right for people occupying the seat (as the presiding officer of the House) to do that. Horatti has violated the anti-defection law," Hariprasad charged.
Demanding Horatti's resignation, Hariprasad said India functions as per the Constitution and not the almanac. "The chair of the Legislative Council is apolitical. By saying he'll join the BJP, Horatti has betrayed the chair," he said.
Hariprasad further charged that Horatti may have decided to join the BJP due to inducements. "Let there be no doubt that the BJP will make Horatti a scapegoat. It is under Operation Lotus (a moniker that refers to engineering defections) that Horatti is joining the BJP," he said.
Earlier this week, Horatti met Union Home Minister Amit Shah and formalised his decision to join the BJP. Horatti is expected to resign from the Council on May 11. He wants to contest the upcoming MLC election from the Karnataka West Teachers’ Constituency seat on the BJP's ticket.