Cong, JD (S) attack BJP in LS over 'Operation Kamala'

Cong, JD (S) attack BJP in LS over 'Operation Kamala'

The Lok Sabha on Monday witnessed uproar over Bharatiya Janata Party’s alleged bid to topple the coalition government of Congress and Janata Dal (Secular). PTI file photo

The opposition Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) on Monday attacked the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party in the Lok Sabha for the alleged bid to topple Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy’s Government in Karnataka.

Law Minister Sadanand Gowda led the BJP’s counter-attack, alleging that the coalition government of the Congress and the JD (S) in Karnataka had been destabilized only due to infighting between the two parties.

Mallikarjun Kharge, leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha, read out the transcript of the audio clip, which was of late released by Chief Minister’s Office in Bengaluru and which purportedly contained recording of the conversation between BJP chief in Karnataka, B S Yeddyurappa, and Sharanagouda, son of JD (S) MLA from Gurmitkal, Naganagouda Kandkur. He alleged that Karnataka BJP chief was heard in the tape promising Rs 50 crore to the son of the MLA of Gurmitkal if his father switched side help topple Congress-JD(S) Government in the State.

As Kharge read out the transcript of the audio-tape amid noisy protests by Shobha Karandlaje and other BJP MPs from Karnataka and other States; Speaker Sumitra Mahajan expunged from the records some of the names the veteran Congress MP mentioned.

H D Devegowda, former Prime Minister and JD (S) leader, said that the Union Government must enact laws prohibiting such attempts to poach MLAs to topple a State Government.

Gowda, the Union Minister of Law and Justice, said that not only the Congress and JD (S) had differences, but the infighting also escalated within the Congress. He said that a Congress MLA had to be hospitalized after he had been beaten up by his colleagues. He rejected the allegation that the BJP had any role to play in the efforts to topple the Congress-JD (S) Government in Bengaluru.

Earlier, as soon as the Lok Sabha assembled for the day, Congress MP K C Venugopal sought Speaker Sumitra Mahajan’s permission to speak on the issue of “Operation Lotus” by the BJP. He alleged that the efforts to bribe the Congress MLAs in Karnataka was going on and Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah were also purportedly involved in it.

The Speaker did not allow him to speak on the issue. She, however, assured Venugopal, who is also the general secretary of the All India Congress Committee and in charge of the party’s affairs in Karnataka, that she would allow him to speak on the issue after the Question Hour. She then started the proceedings of the Question Hour.

But the Congress MPs were not ready to relent even after the assurances from the Speaker.

Some of the Congress MPs came to the well of House and started raising slogans denouncing the BJP’s effort to topple the government in Karnataka.

The MPs of the Telugu Desam Party and All Inda Trinamool Congress also came to the well of the House. They also raised slogans and waved placards slamming Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government on various issues.

After continuing with the Question Hour for some-time, the Speaker adjourned the House for about an hour.

She allowed Kharge, Devegowda and Gowda to speak after the House reassembled at 12:00 noon.