Addressing the media here, Congress veteran Mallikarjun Kharge said all the 118 MLAs of the coalition are intact and questioned why the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has kept its MLAs in a resort in Haryana’s Gurugram, far away from Karnataka.
“I have spoken to Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy, Deputy Chief Minister G. Parameshwara as well as Congress General Secretary K.C. Venugopal. They all confirmed the stability of Karnataka government. All our 118 MLAs are intact,” said Kharge.
He said with the aid of the Narendra Modi-led Centre government, the BJP used all tricks including intimidating tactics but failed to destabilise the Karnataka government.
“From threatening our MLAs with IT and ED raids to luring with money, the BJP’s efforts to destabilise the Karnataka government have doomed and that is why they have now hidden their MLAs in a resort in Gurugram,” said Kharge.
Dismissing reports that some of the party MLAs are “missing”, Kharge said the BJP, as a desperate measure, is spreading rumours and false information to mislead the people.
“If the BJP is strong in Karnataka, as they claim, then why have they holed up their MLAs in Gurugram? They claim to believe in democracy, so why not free the MLAs?” said Kharge.
Asked to comment on speculations of the Congress being in touch with certain BJP MLAs, Kharge replied: “We are not inviting anyone but if someone is willing to come then we cannot shut the door on them.”
On Tuesday, R. Shankar, a legislator from Ranebennur Assembly segment in Haveri district, belonging to the regional Karnataka Pragnavantha Janata Party (KPJP), and H. Nagesh, an Independent from Mulbagal constituency in Kolar district, withdrew their support to the coalition.
In the 225-member Legislative Assembly, including one nominated Speaker, the Congress has 80 legislators, JD-S 37 and the BJP 104, while one the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) MLA continues to support the coalition even after Nagesh and Shankar withdrawing their support.