Tottering on the brink, Cong attacks BJP for defection

Congress members tage a protest accusing the BJP of horse-trading for capturing power in the state, in Bengaluru on Monday. DH Photo

With the government on the brink of collapse, the Congress leadership on Monday launched a scathing attack on the BJP, accusing the saffron party of engineering the defection of legislators. 

“This is the sixth time the BJP is trying to destabilise the Congress-JD(S) coalition government,” AICC general secretary in-charge of Karnataka K C Venugopal told reporters, on the resignation of 13 lawmakrers.

“This time also they are using Central agencies like the I-T, ED and CBI to threaten MLAs. Money and ministership are being offered to do horse trading,” he said.

“In the last five years, there are several instances of the BJP’s anti-democratic ways to destabilise governments where they’re not in power,” he said, citing examples of West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. The Congress will face this situation strongly, he added.

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Parl democracy

Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Siddaramaiah, who also heads the coalition coordination committee, said the BJP had no belief in parliamentary democracy. “In the last Assembly election, people did not give the BJP the mandate to form government. In terms of percentage of votes, the Congress polled more,” he said.

The BJP won 104 seats, but the Congress, JD(S), BSP and Independents put together have 120 MLAs. The magic figure is 113. Clearly, 104 is less than 120, he said.

“From the past one year, the BJP is trying to destabilise the government,” he charged, accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah of aiding and abetting the poaching of MLAs. 

Siddaramaiah also mocked the BJP’s claims that it had nothing to do with the resignation of MLAs.

“In their sixth attempt, the new drama is to pretend that they’re not doing anything and that MLAs are resigning on their own. This is a drama and a big attack on democracy,” he said. 

The BJP did the same thing in 2008 when it fell short of a majority. The party poached MLAs, who contested the by-elections. But this time, they will fail. The coalition will be saved and government will continue, Siddaramaiah said.

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