BJP to keep Operation Lotus on hold

Karnataka BJP President BS Yeddyurappa

The BJP central leadership is understood to have asked the state unit not to embark on Operation Lotus (poaching of rival party MLAs), intended at installing its government in the state, till May 29, when Narendra Modi is scheduled to take oath as prime minister.

Sources said poaching at this juncture would send out a wrong signal. Besides, it would give the Opposition ammunition to attack Modi. Hence, the state unit has been asked await a green signal.

“We are not wooing any MLA. It is not true. Ideally, the coalition government should not continue after the Lok Sabha results...I will discuss it (formation of BJP government in Karnataka) with the central leaders and will do whatever they advise,” state BJP president B S Yeddyurappa told DH.

In Delhi, Union Minister for Statistics and Programme Implementation D V Sadananda Gowda, too, said the BJP will not topple the government.

A Cabinet reshuffle cannot be ruled out as Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara told Kumaraswamy that some Congress ministers were ready to resign in order to accommodate disgruntled legislators, sources said. 

At the insistence of Congress ministers, Kumaraswamy is said to have agreed to hold talks with legislators who have complained of being shortchanged under the Kumaraswamy regime. The CM will hold district-wise, department-wise meetings to hear MLAs out, sources said. 

“All ministers have expressed confidence in Kumaraswamy’s leadership. We will work together and the government will continue,” Parameshwara said, briefing reporters.

Asked about the demands for Kumaraswamy to resign, Parameshwara said: “But the Lok Sabha election result was not a mandate for the state government. We got the mandate last year and we will continue for the next four years and fulfil promises we have made to the people.”

During the breakfast meeting, Siddaramaiah told ministers that the BJP should not be allowed to topple the government “at any cost”.

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