Newly-elected JD(S) and Congress MLAs reached Bengaluru on Saturday morning after an overnight journey from Hyderabad for the crucial floor test in the state assembly. MLAs had been camping in two Hyderabad hotels to avoid any poaching bids.
JD(S) MLC Basavaraj said in the morning that as many as 36 legislators belonging to his party and 77 of the Congress were camping in the city hotels.
Though the legislators were prepared to stay in the city hotels for a few days, they all left in the night by road as the Supreme Court on Friday ordered that a floor test be held in the Karnataka Assembly at Saturday 4 PM to confirm whether newly-appointed BJP Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa enjoys a majority in the state.
"All the legislators left for Bengaluru by road at 10 pm," Vamshi Chand Reddy, Congress MLA in Telangana, said.
Congress' Karnataka unit chief K Parameshwara said his party was confident of keeping their MLAs together and alleged that the BJP was trying to woo their lawmakers with incentives.
"All our MLAs are with us... tomorrow they will be present in the Assembly (in Bengaluru)," he said.
The JD(S) had last night alleged that chartered flights that were scheduled to carry its legislators along with those of the Congress from Bangalore to Kochi were denied permission by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation at the last minute.
However, a Civil Aviation Ministry official had said that DGCA permission was not required for charter operations within India.
Former Chief Minister of Karnataka and JD(S) leader Kumaraswamy earlier addressed the legislators in Taj Krishna Hotel. Later Congress legislature Party meeting elected Siddharamaiah as their leader, a senior Congress leader of Telangana said.
Political observers say Hyderabad was chosen for keeping the MLAs together owing to the rapport that Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao has with the JD(S) chief and former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda.
Rao had recently met Gowda at the latter's residence before the Karnataka polls.
The Telangana chief minister had appealed to Telugu people living in the neighbouring state to vote for the JD(S).