Bengaluru, July 12 : Resort politics is back in Karnataka as the ruling Congress-JD(S) and the Opposition BJP attempt to guard against their legislators being poached ahead of a possible vote of confidence in the state Assembly.
The Congress, whose 13 of the 79 MLAs have already submitted their resignations from the Assembly, has moved about 50 MLAs to the Clarks Exotica Convention Resorts on the outskirts of the city.
While senior leaders like Siddaramaiah, Deputy Chief Minister G. Parameshwara and the ministers are staying at their official bungalows in the city, other legislators whose assembly segments are outside Bengaluru and across the state have been shifted to the resort though many of them have rooms in the Legislature Home behind the Vidhan Soudha in the city centre.
“As the BJP has already poached about a dozen legislators to destabilise our coalition government for its ‘operation kamala’, we have moved about 50 of our party members to Clarks Exotica Convention Resorts on the outskirts of the city,” Congress spokesman Ravi Gowda told IANS here.
“We have shifted them to the resort from the Legislature Home to prevent the BJP leaders or their friends from meeting them and whisking them away as it happened in the case of a couple of our and JD-S members,” asserted Gowda.
The Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) has also been keeping about 30 of its legislators at the Golfshire Resort near Nandi Hills on the city’s northern outskirts since July 7 after three of its MLAs resigned and flew to Mumbai on July 6.
The JD-S had 37 MLAs before three of them submitted their resignations.
“Our legislators have been staying at a private resort outside the city to ensure the BJP does not poach them as it did with three of them. As most of their constituencies are far from Bengaluru, they will be put up there till the 10-day session ends on February 26. They will be brought to the Vidhan Souda to attend the session,” JD(S) leader Ramesh Babu told IANS.
Not to be left out in the resort politics and wary of ‘reverse poaching’ by the ruling allies, the BJP too has shifted about 80 of its 105 lawmakers to the Ramada resort at Yelahanka in the city’s northwest suburb.
“We have been forced to shift our legislators to a resort to ensure that they stay put at one place for consultations or discussions and to prevent them from meeting or speaking to any of the Congress-JD-S leaders who have been trying to wean away some of our members to make up the numbers after 16 of their MLAs resigned and their shaky year-old government got reduced to minority,” BJP spokesman G. Madhusudana told IANS.
The shifting of MLAs to resorts to prevent ‘poaching’ comes as the Assembly convened on Friday for a 10-day session amidst the political crisis.
On the opening day, Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy said that he was ready to face a floor test as is being demanded by the BJP, which says the ruling coalition has lost majority in the 225-member House after it lost support of 18 legislators since July 6.