Cong chief senses Op Kamala, says BJP contacting MLAs

Cong chief senses Op Kamala, says BJP contacting MLAs

Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president Dinesh Gundu Rao on Tuesday accused the BJP of contacting the Congress legislators for another round of Operation Kamala (poaching of legislators).

“Some MLAs told us that the BJP contacted them. The party is scared of losing the bypolls,” Rao told a news conference. 

The BJP needed 112 seats, but the party's number would remain 105 after the bypolls. People would chase the BJP on the street if it continued attempts to poach the Congress legislators, he warned.

Of 15 constituencies facing the bypolls, the BJP needs to win at least 6-7 seats to secure a majority in the Assembly. 

The BJP was using money and caste to win the bypolls. The party was spending Rs 50-60 crore in each constituency to buy votes, Rao charged.

He claimed that three of the disqualified MLAs - ST Somashekhar (Yeshwantpur), Byrathi Basavaraj (KR Puram) and Munirathna (Rajarajeshwari Nagar) - had developed cold feet.

“They wanted to come back to the party fold. But we refused to take them back,” Rao said.

He alleged that Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa and Law Minister JC Madhuswamy were trying to influence Veerashaiva-Lingayat community voters. 

“The BJP has realised that the wave is against them. How can Yediyurappa seek votes based on the caste? We demand that he be booked under the Representation of the People Act so that he faces imprisonment for three years,” he said and asked, "Are the Lingayats the property of the BJP?" 

On the Congress allying with the JD(S) again, Rao said,“Our priority is to defeat the BJP. Decisions are made based on circumstances in politics. We will discuss with our leadership about the issue."