'Operation Kamala': JD(S) well-poised for counterstroke

Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy has tasked the two ministers, along with Cooperation Minister Bandeppa Kashempur, with the responsibility of poaching as many BJP MLAs possible, to counter BJP’s Operation Lotus. (DH file photo)

Even as the BJP remained hopeful and upbeat about successfully pulling off the ‘Sankranti coup,’ installing its government in Karnataka, the coalition partners, especially the JD(S), took an aggressive stance by asserting that it was well-poised for a counterstroke.

No sooner than the two Independent MLAs (R Shankar and H Nagesh) withdrew their support to the coalition government, two JD(S) ministers - Tourism Minister Sa Ra Mahesh and Minor Irrigation Minister C S Puttaraju claimed that the party was confident of shoring up the support of at least six BJP MLAs.

Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy has tasked the two ministers, along with Cooperation Minister Bandeppa Kashempur, with the responsibility of poaching as many BJP MLAs possible, to counter BJP’s Operation Lotus.

Warning the BJP against foul play, Puttaraju said that the coalition partners were all set to “teach the BJP a lesson”.

Also read: BJP MLAs staying in Gurugram hotel, mobiles barred

“The BJP has been continuously trying to disturb the government. We have no choice but to counter it at every step. If the BJP does not let up, we will bring its MLAs to our party,” he said.

After being closeted with his party supremo H D Deve Gowda and Kumaraswamy at the former’s Padmanabhanagar residence till late on Tuesday night, Mahesh came out and told reporters that the JD(S) was in touch with six BJP MLAs, and that there was the possibility of them tendering resignations to the Assembly membership.

According to sources, Kumaraswamy had assured his father that his government was “safe”, as he had put in place a counter strategy.

Anticipating trouble from the BJP, Kumaraswamy had, in fact, kept two ministerial berths vacant, instead of expanding his Cabinet. Sources said that the JD(S) would lure the BJP MLAs by offering them ministerial berths. He also plans to drop Horticulture Minister M C Managuli, to make way for another leader who extends support to his government.

Also read: 3 to 4 Cong MLAs unhappy with party, admits minister

Kumaraswamy is also learnt to have exuded confidence about the Congress resolving its internal bickering. The turf war between Water Resources Minister D K Shivakumar and former minister Ramesh Jarkiholi continues, with the BJP even attributing the political turbulence in Karnataka to their skirmish.

Attacking the BJP for trying to destabilise the coalition government yet again, Gowda asserted that there was no threat to the government headed by his son Kumaraswamy.

“The BJP is in delusion. It is disgusting and shameful that a national party is trying to lure MLAs with money to the tune of Rs 50 crore to 70 crore. Does it look good that a national party (BJP) is hoarding its 104 MLAs? Nobody can destabilise the government, because it is the wish of God,” he added.

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'Operation Kamala': JD(S) well-poised for counterstroke

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