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Monday, Sep 23, 2019

‘Backstabbed by rebels…will happen to you too’: Cong’s Shivakumar warns BJP

Ahead of Tuesday’s trust vote in the Karnataka assembly, Congress’ chief trouble shooter, D K Shivakumar warned the opposition BJP that rebel MLAs who dumped the grand old party could ditch them too.

india Updated: Jul 23, 2019 17:30 IST
Vikram Gopal
Vikram Gopal
Hindustan Times, Bengaluru
Karnataka Minister DK Shivakumar addresses the Assembly during the discussion on the confidence motion moved by Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy.
Karnataka Minister DK Shivakumar addresses the Assembly during the discussion on the confidence motion moved by Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy.(ANI)

Karnataka Minister and Congress’ chief trouble shooter, D K Shivakumar, on Tuesday said that the party’s rebel MLAs have backstabbed them and warned the BJP that these lawmakers could do the same to them.

“We are angry because of the backstabbing by the rebels. It will happen to you as well... You are misguiding them,” Shivakumar told the BJP said while participating in the discussion on the confidence motion in the assembly moved by Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy whose government is battling an existential crisis following the resignation of 16 MLAs earlier this month.

Thirteen of the MLAs belong to the Congress and three to the Janata Dal (Secular). Two independent MLAs, who were made ministers recently to provide stability to the government, have also quit the cabinet and withdrawn their support to the government.

Ahead of the trust vote, Shivakumar lashed out at the rebels for petitioning the Mumbai police Commissioner to protect them when he visited the city earlier this month.

“When I went to Mumbai I knew that prohibitory orders had been issued. I wasn’t allowed inside the hotel because MLAs gave a complaint to Mumbai police Commissioner that we will storm into the hotel and asked that we shouldn’t let in. I worked with them for 40 years, am I a dacoit? Couldn’t I have locked them in my house when I tore their resignations?”

Shivakumar was particularly anguished with Congress MLA MTB Nagaraj who had indicated on July 13 that he would take back his resignation and would also try to convince another lawmaker - K Sudhakar - to withdraw his resignation as well. But Nagaraj returned to Mumbai the next day and hasn’t taken back his resignation yet.

Also read: LIVE BLOG: Karnataka floor test Live updates| ‘Roots of democracy shaking’: Siddaramaiah at Karnataka trust debate

“Yes I was the reason MTB Nagaraj got a ticket. We spoke to him and he gave a statement as well. Couldn’t we have locked them up? No because we have trust in them. Bring them here, let them vote against this government…… I told MTB Nagaraj I’ll see him in the battlefield politically,” Shivakumar said.

The coalition government has accused the opposition BJP of orchestrating the resignations to seize power. The BJP denies the charge.

The Karnataka Assembly floor test will be held Tuesday evening according to the latest deadline of 6 pm set by the Speaker KR Ramesh. The Supreme Court has adjourned the hearing of the petition filed by the two independent MLAs who asked the apex court to direct the Speaker to hold the trust vote on Tuesday.

Speaker Ramesh also summoned the rebel MLAs, 13 of whom have asked for four weeks time.

First Published: Jul 23, 2019 16:55 IST