Congress MLAs were warned that those abstaining will be expelled from the party under anti-defection law
Congress MLAs were warned that those abstaining will be expelled from the party under anti-defection law

As poaching charges and counter charges continue, Congress convenes meeting of its Karnataka legislators

ANI | Updated: Jan 17, 2019 18:58 IST

Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], Jan 17 (ANI): Amid charges and counter charges of poaching between the ruling JD(S)-Congress combine and the Opposition BJP, the Congress prepared to hold a meeting of its legislature party tomorrow, apparently to assure itself that its flock is intact.
Ahead of the meeting, the Congress MLAs were warned that those abstaining will be expelled from the party under anti-defection law.
The Congress, which has 80 seats in the 224-member Assembly, said it has called a meeting of its legislators here on January 18 to take stock of the prevailing political situation.
The Congress' alliance partner JD(S) has 37 seats and its supporter BSP has one. The BJP is the single largest party with 104 seats but 9 short of the simple majority mark.
"If somebody doesn't attend this (CLP) meeting, action will be taken against them under the anti-defection law. Also, it will be assumed that the member himself has decided to leave primary membership of the party," senior party leader and former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said.
On the eve of CLP meeting, senior party leader and MP B K Hariprasad alleged that the BJP had "kidnapped" four Congress MLAs and that their family members will file a habeas corpus.
Another Congress leader and state minister DK Shivakumar alleged that the BJP was trying to "create chaos" by making efforts to destabilise the H D Kumaraswamy government.
"The Congress-JDS government in Karnataka is stable and will be stable. It's just that my BJP friends are trying to create chaos. They don't want stability and don't want to respect the mandate of the people," he told reporters here.
"There is nothing to worry about all the MLAs. They are in touch with us, except for one or two. A party meeting will be held very shortly. Not even a single MLA is going to resign," Shivakumar added.
Asked whether the state government was in touch with any MLA from the BJP, the Congress leader said, "That we can't disclose. This is a political movement. As I said earlier, politics is chess, it's not football. We never expected that after losing, BJP will go to this level. They should accept the people's mandate."
Earlier, the Congress had alleged that its three MLAs were taken to Mumbai by the BJP in an attempt to lure them into their fold.
BJP state unit chief and former Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa , while rejecting charges of poaching, alleged that Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy was indulging in horse-trading by offering money and ministerial posts to his MLAs.
"We are not indulging in any poaching. It is Chief Minister Kumaraswamy who is indulging in horse-trading. He himself is offering money and ministerial posts to our MLAs," Yeddyurappa said.
Because of the fear of poaching, the BJP has kept its MLAs from Karnataka in Haryana's Gurugram on the outskirts of Delhi.
For the record, the party said the MLAs were there to make strategies for the coming Lok Sabha polls and had not run away fearing poaching by the ruling Congress-JDS alliance.
Kumaraswamy, while responding to Yeddyurappa's charges of horse-trading, alleged that the former Chief Minister was speaking "lies".
The charges of horse-trading were triggered after three Karnataka Congress MLAs visited Mumbai earlier on Monday, reportedly along with some BJP MLAs. This was followed by the Congress' allegation that the BJP was trying to poach the ruling party's MLAs to destabilise the JDS-Congress alliance government in Karnataka. (ANI)