Dinesh says BJP trying to poach Cong legislators

KPCC president Dinesh Gundu Rao. DH file photo

The BJP is still trying to poach Congress legislators, KPCC president Dinesh Gundu Rao claimed on Tuesday.

Rao’s remarks come in the backdrop of various factions within the state Congress mounting pressure on the party to expand the Cabinet. “The BJP is desperate to bring the government down. They aren’t able to stay without power. They are contacting different people, offering them things to jump ship,” Rao told reporters.   

Municipalities Minister Ramesh Jarakiholi, who belongs to the Belagavi faction and has a feud with his disgruntled brother Satish Jarakiholi, reportedly rushed to Delhi on Tuesday. Last month, Ramesh took off to Ajmer in Rajasthan with nearly a dozen MLAs, which was seen as a ‘show of strength’ to mount pressure on the party to accommodate his loyals in the Cabinet.

“Ramesh is not in touch with the BJP,” Rao said. “What’s wrong if some party legislators want to discuss internal matters with senior leaders?” he said, playing things down.  

There was widespread disgruntlement in the Congress when the party announced the list of 16 ministers who would join the H D Kumaraswamy-led Cabinet. Several leaders, including former ministers M B Patil and
H K Patil, went public with their disgruntlement over missing out on joining the Cabinet.

Rao said the party would improve its campaign mechanism for the Lok Sabha elections and learn from mistakes that occurred in the recently polls. “We did have a good campaign, but it was in the last 15-20 days that we lost out. This time, we’ll prepare systematically and our leaders will tour the entire state.”

Congress president Rahul Gandhi is scheduled to address a Janadhwani rally in Bidar city on August 13. “We expect 2 lakh to 3 lakh people to attend the rally,” Rao said.

Rao has written to Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman asking her not to shift the Aero India out of Bengaluru. “She has been elected to the Rajya Sabha from Karnataka and we expect her to protect the state’s interest. However, on the Rafale deal, banking exams, 15th Finance Commission and other issues, the Centre has failed to protect the state’s interest,” he said.

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Dinesh says BJP trying to poach Cong legislators

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