BJP, fearing defeat, trying to engineer defections: Congress
Bengaluru,Dec 3 (PTI) Alleging that the ruling BJP,
fearing defeat in the December 5 bypolls, has tried to contact
some of its MLAs with an intention to engineer defections, the
Congress in Karnataka Monday warned the saffron party of a
backlash from the party and people if they went about it.
The principal opposition party also claimed that BJP was
spending about Rs 1,000 crore "corrupt money" for the bypoll.
"I want to tell one thing to BJP- some of their leaders
have claimed that Congress MLAs are ready to join them...Im
warning them not to again indulge in Operation Kamala
(poaching of opposition MLAs)," KPCC President Dinesh Gundu
Rao told reporters here.
"...in fact, they are already making phone calls to our
MLAs, already called a few of them. If it repeats, we will not
spare you...
If it (poaching) repeats, we will not spare you. They
(BJP) know they will lose in the bypolls...
If they indulge in Operation Kamala again, leave alone
Congress, people will chase and beat them. Dont indulge in
such undemocratic things, he added.
Clarifying that Congress would not indulge in such
"operations", Rao said disqualified Congress legislators like
Byrathi Basavaraj, S T Somashekar and Munirathna- who are now
BJP candidates, had in fact said they wanted to re-join the
party, a request which was turned down.
The bypolls were necessitated after the resignation and
absence of 17 Congress-JD(S) legislators during the trust
vote, leading to the collapse of the coalition government and
paving the way for BJP to come to power.
The 17 legislators were subsequently disqualified by the
then Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar under anti defection law.
However, the Supreme Court that heard the MLA's petition
challenging the then Speakers decision had last month allowed
them to contest the bypolls,but upheld their disqualification.
Expressing confidence that voters would favour Congress,
Rao said people would defeat the disqualified legislators, who
are BJP candidates, thus ensuing the "cleansing" of politics
in the state.
"Which party forms the government or not is not important.
The result should uphold the pride of the state.. voters
should send a message that they will not tolerate such filthy
politics,by rejecting and defeating disqualified, he said.
BJP needs to win at least six seats in the bypolls to 15
constituencies to remain in a majority in the 224-member
assembly, which will still have two vacant seats-- Maski and R
R Nagar.
On the possibility of Congress again joining hands with
JD(S) to form a government after the bypolls if BJP fell short
of a majority, Rao said their primary focus was to defeat BJP
and the defectors.
"What happens after that we will discuss and decide as
and when the situation arises," he said.
Among the 15 constituencies going to the bypolls, 12 were
held by Congress and three by JD(S),whose coalition government
collapsed due to rebellion by the disqualified MLAs.
With winning a majority of the seats being crucial for
the government's survival, BJP has fielded 13 of the 16
disqualified legislators who joined the party as its
candidates from their respective constituencies.
Rao also alleged that the BJP government, after coming to
power, had not taken any pro-public measures and was only busy
recovering money it had invested in Operation Kamala.
"The government has limited itself to transfers,
contractor commissions... Hundreds of crores of Rupees was
used for Operation Kamala to poach 17 legislators.. it is not
easy. According to a calculation over Rs 20 crore was spent on
each as claimed in one of the audio tapes...
So a total of about Rs 400-500 crore would have been
spent, he said.
Similarly, hundreds of crores of Rupees were spent in the
run up to the bypolls in the 15 assembly constituencies, he
About Rs 1,000 crore corrupt or black money has totally
been used for this election," he alleged.
Rao said Prime Minister Narendra Modi routinely speaks
about eliminating corruption, but nothing was happening in
Despite the Congress filing a complaint with the IT
department (on money 'illegally' being spent by BJP) nothing
had happened. On the other hand, Congress leaders were raided,
he said.
The BJP has no issues to fight the polls and so was
spending between Rs 50 crore to Rs 60 crore to bribe voters,
he alleged.
They had also put pressure on candidates of other parties
(JDS) to withdraw in Athani and Hirekerur, he said.
Rao charged Chief Minister Yediyurappa and Law Minister J
C Madhuswamy with seeking votes in the name of Veerashaiva-
Lingayats, a dominant community to which they belong to and
said it was a violation of the poll code.
The party had given a complaint with the Election
Commission, but no action has yet been taken, he said.
We will file another complaint to take it up under the
Representation of the PeopleAct....
They should be put behind bars, sent to jail...is the
community limited to them? The Chief Minister and Madhuswamy
should apologize to the Veerashaiva-Lingayat community.
We will file a legal complaint against them and after the
election, if no action is taken, we will move court, he
added. PTI KSU APR

(This story has not been edited by THE WEEK and is auto-generated from PTI)