Operation Lotus? Trouble For Kumaraswamy As Two Cong MLAs Quit

Bengaluru: Two Congress MLAs in Karnataka put in their papers on Monday in fresh trouble for the ruling Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) coalition in the state, reports NDTV. Anand Singh resigned first, and then came Ramesh Jarkiholi’s resignation.

A senior Congress leader termed the exit “shocking”. The Congress and the JD(S) are wary of a potential revival of what is referred to as “Operation Lotus”. The term was first used in 2008, when the BJP was accused of inciting several Opposition legislators to defect to ensure the stability of its government headed by BS Yeddyurappa.

“I have submitted by resignation as the people of my constituency are agitated over the government’s approval to lease out government land to the Jindals,” Anand Singh told reporters. The Assembly Speaker’s office confirmed receiving the legislator’s letter on Monday afternoon.

With the two MLAs gone, the Congress’ strength in the Assembly is down to 77. The JDS-Congress alliance has now a wafer-thin 114 lawmakers in the 224-member Karnataka Assembly where the majority mark is 113. The BJP has 105, the BSP one and there is one Independent.

Earlier this year, Anand Singh was hospitalised with injuries after an alleged fight with a colleague.

Karnataka Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy is currently in the US on a private visit. “I’m at Kalabhairaveshwara temple foundation laying ceremony (in New Jersey). I’m watching TV channels. Destabilising government continues to be a daydream of BJP,” Kumaraswamy tweeted.

“I have heard about his (Anand Singh’s) resignation through media. We don’t want to destabilise the government… If the government falls on own its own, we will explore the possibilities of forming the new government but there is no question of fresh elections,” Karnataka BJP chief and former chief minister BS Yeddyurappa said.

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