As resort politics returns, no out-of-state havens for new Karnataka MLAs
Business in booming for at least two resorts in Karnataka. With Karnataka election results revealing a hung assembly, political parties are turning to resorts within the state to keep their newly-elected legislators safe from poaching.
The Congress with 77 seats in the new assembly has once again picked Eagleton resort at Bidadi near Bengaluru for this. Kanakapura MLA-elect DK Shivakumar led the MLAs in a luxury bus to the Eagleton Resort on Wednesday.
To keep the Bharatiya Janata Party with 104 seats, nine short of a majority, at bay, the Congress has lent its support to the Janata Dal Secular. Bidadi is in Ramanagara district, a JD(S) bastion.
But the JD(S) , whose leader HD Kumaraswamy accused the BJP of offering his MLAs ₹100 crore to switch sides, is using Hotel Shangri-La. The JD(S) has 37 seats and ally Bahujan Samaj Party one.
The Karnataka governor on Wednesday night invited BJP leader BS Yeddyurappa to form the government and gave him 15 days to prove his majority. It isn’t clear where the BJP MLAs are.
It is highly unlikely the MLAs are leaving the resorts anytime soon. And leaders are taking every precaution to ensure that they don’t defect.
Eagelton resort was in the spotlight last year when Gujarat Congress MLAs camped there as party feared the defection of MLAs ahead of the Rajya Sabha elections.
During the Mysuru Zila panchayat election, BJP and JD(S) members had camped at the same resort, fearing poaching.
The prospects of newly MLAs being corralled at a resort was subject of a tweet that literally became a meme on Wednesday after lection results were announced.
A screenshot of Kerala Tourism Department’s official twitter handle went viral on the social media. The message read, “After the rough and tumble of the #KarnatakaVerdict, we invite all the MLAs to unwind all the safe and beautiful resorts of God’s Own Country. #ComeOutAndPlay.”
The tweet was later deleted.
For now, it seems, the newly-elected MLA’s are staying put in their own state.