Hunter hunted? HDK, Yeddyurappa spar over poaching

Last Updated 08 February 2019, 12:22 IST

Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy and BJP state president B S Yeddyurappa locked horns on Friday over poaching of legislators.

While Kumaraswamy said that the BJP had contacted a Congress legislator offering him “an expensive gift” as part of Operation Kamala, Yeddyurappa said the chief minister himself had contacted a saffron party legislator.

“Operation Kamala is (still) underway. On Thursday night, one Congress MLA got a call asking where his gift should be sent. I’ve got this information. The MLA declined to accept it and asked to be left alone. It’s an expensive gift. You’ll be surprised if I tell you how much it is worth,” Kumaraswamy told reporters. He asked BJP state president B S Yeddyurappa where such gifts came from. “He’s continuing his 2008 habit.”

Operation Kamala is a moniker for poaching legislators with the lure of money and power. Kumaraswamy was referring to how the Yeddyurappa-led BJP pulled some MLAs of the Congress and JD(S) to ensure stability of its government in 2008.

“The chief minister is making wild allegations against us. It is an attempt to divert people’s attention from his failures,” Yeddyurappa said in a statement. “In fact, it was chief minister himself who approached our Aland MLA (Subhash Rukmayya Guttedar) and tried to lure him,” Yeddyurappa said, adding that Kumaraswamy was frustrated.

“How are we responsible if some Congress legislators are airing their ire against the chief minister? It’s an open secret that more than 20 Congress legislators openly asked him to quit,” Yeddyurappa claimed.

“No minister is touring drought-hit areas. I am touring the state... So far the government hasn’t released enough funds to tackle the situation, especially drinking water. I suggest the chief minister to give attention to the grave drought situation instead of making such silly allegations.”

(Published 25 January 2019, 17:21 IST)

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