Cong-JDS legislators camping in Hyderabad to be back in Bengaluru by Saturday

Congress and JD(S) decided to move their legislators from out of Karnataka fearing poaching by the BJP after Yeddyurappa was given 15 days’ time by the governor to prove his majority.

Karnataka Elections 2018 Updated: May 18, 2018 17:13 IST
Karnataka Government,BJP,Congress JDS Alliance
Congress MLAs leave the Vidhana Soudha in a bus after staging a protest dharna against the swearing-in of B S Yeddyurappa as Karnataka chief minister, in Bengaluru on Thursday. (PTI)

The newly-elected legislators of the Congress and Janata Dal(Secular) from Karnataka, who have been camping at different locations in Hyderabad since Friday morning, are expected to return to Bengaluru late in the night or early Saturday to take part in the floor-test for the BS Yeddyurappa government in the state assembly.

The legislators, who arrived in Hyderabad from Bengaluru in three buses belonging to SRS Travels and Orange Travels, are likely to take special flights to Bengaluru.

JD(S) legislator GT Deve Gowda said while speaking to reporters that all the MLAs of his party and the Congress were united and would not succumb to any pressures from the BJP.

“Let them offer Rs 100 crore or Rs 200 crore each. But we are all united. None of us is ready to take the bait. We are leaving for Bengaluru today evening or tomorrow morning,” he said.

The Congress and the JD(S) decided to move their legislators from out of Karnataka fearing poaching by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) after Yeddyurappa was given 15 days’ time by governor Valubhai Vala to prove his majority on the floor of the assembly. Yeddyurappa was sworn-in as the chief minister of Karnataka on Thursday.

They reached the Telangana capital by road after the JD(S) alleged on Thursday night chartered flights that were to fly them from Bengaluru to Kerala’s Kochi were denied permission by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, which denied the charge, at the last minute.

The legislators were brought to two hotels in the upscale Banjara Hills and Madhapur areas of the Telangana capital. Telangana PCC chief Capt N Uttam Kumar Reddy ensured that the Congress MLAs were accommodated in Taj Krishna Hotel and JD(S) MLAs in Novotel Hotel.

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“We have used six buses while MLAs were occupying only three. Remaining are decoys,” a senior Telangana Congress leader acting a host said.

Arrangements were also made to shift them to a luxury resort at Gandipet on the city’s outskirts but the plan was changed after the Supreme Court’s directive to the BJP government to undergo the floor test on Saturday itself.

Former Karnataka energy minister DK Shivakumar denied reports that some Congress MLAs were missing during the transit.

“We are all united and ready to face the music. The two MLAs you are talking about are in touch with us. One is sick and couldn’t travel,” he said.

He added that though the aviation authorities had not allowed them to take a chartered flight to move the party MLAs to a safer place on Thursday, the party had succeeded in keeping the flock together.

The BJP emerged as the largest party in the counting of votes for Karnataka elections on Tuesday, getting 104 seats. It was followed by the Congress with 78, JD(S) with 37 and three seats went to others in the 224-member assembly where elections were held for 222 seats.

The majority mark is 112 seats and the post-poll alliance of the Congress-JD(S) combine, which claims to have 117 MLAs, has alleged foul play in the governor inviting BJP to form the government.

First Published: May 18, 2018 17:11 IST