With speculation rife that BJP leaders have resumed Operation Lotus (a euphemism for poaching rival party MLAs by asking them to resign) in a very bid to grab power from the JD(S)- Congress coalition, AICC general secretary Karnataka in-charge kc Venugopal can arrive within the town on Wednesday to quell rebellion production within the party. Venugopal can hold a series of conferences with totally different teams of MLAs and senior leaders together with the Jarkiholi brothers. this may be followed by the coordination board meeting, chaired by former chief minister Siddaramaiah. Mallikarjun M Kharge, Congress leader in the Lok Sabha, and M Veerappa Moily, former Union minister, might also participate in these conferences, Congress sources said.
The trigger for Venugopal’s preventive action is that the recent statement of Congress MLA Satish Jarikohli claiming regarding seven to eight MLAs, who are sad with the Congress leadership, is getting ready to join the BJP. Satish is seeking a cabinet berth, Besides this, an audio clip of a reputed speech between the personal assistant of BJP leader B Sreeramulu and a Dubai-based businessperson gave credence to the minister’s statement.
The audio claims that 10 to 12 MLAs are ready to change to the BJP and every one of them are promised money of Rs 20 to 25 crore and ministerial berths. On Tuesday, KPCC communication department chairman Rizwan Arshad filed a proper complaint with Bengaluru town commissioner seeking an investigation into the audio clip.
On Monday, speculation was also rife that D Sudhakar, Chikkaballapur Congress MLA, might be part of the BJP when his ‘secret’ meeting with mining baron Gali Janardhana Reddy. However, Sudhakar, in a series of tweets, dismissed the rumors saying he has been receiving treatment at Jindal naturopathy Centre and he had not met anyone.
In Ballari, Sreeramulu denied Operation Lotus was current to poach Congress or JD(S) legislators.
“If we would like to topple the govt, we'll do it after informing Siddaramaiah,” Sreeramulu said. “Congress leaders seem to be losing sleep, thinking however long the coalition government can last and is creating groundless allegations against us to divert attention.”
Congress troubleshooter and water resources minister DK Shivakumar, however, dismissed the speculation and said the govt was in no danger of falling. “We haven't been drinking milk with our eyes closed,” Shivakumar said.