Rao extends invite, says future's bright in saffron

BJP's Karnataka in-charge P Muralidhar Rao. (DH File Photo)

Even as the BJP has decided not to destabilise the Congress-JD(S) coalition, the party’s Karnataka in-charge P Muralidhar Rao on Wednesday extended an open invitation for rival party leaders to jump ship.

“The Congress has no future in Karnataka. Those who want a future should come to the BJP,” Rao said while speaking at an event to felicitate the party’s newly elected 25 MPs from the state.

Rao’s call comes at a time leaders of the Congress and other parties are said to jumping ship to join the BJP in Maharashtra, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat.

At least a dozen Congress legislators are disgruntled in Karnataka and it was speculated that the BJP was trying to lure them.

Rao went a step ahead and said, “Umesh Jadhav is proof that BJP has a future for those who leave the Congress.” Jadhav was a Congress legislator who resigned and joined the BJP to contest the Lok Sabha election from Gulbarga, where he defeated Congress veteran Mallikarjun Kharge. In all, the BJP won 25 out of 28 Lok Sabha seats in the state.

Last week, BJP state president B S Yeddyurappa announced that the party’s central leadership had asked him not to make any move toward destabilising the coalition government, virtually drawing curtains on talks of conducting Operation Lotus (poaching of rival party MLAs).

“We don’t need to do any operation. The coalition government does not enjoy the people’s mandate. The coalition was clearly rejected by the people in the Lok Sabha election. People themselves will do an operation and topple the government,” Rao said.

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