Karnataka rebel MLAs shifted out of Mumbai, headed to Goa as endgame nears
Karnataka’s rebel Congress-JDS legislators, who were camping in a suburban Mumbai hotel since Saturday, were shifted to Goa on Monday evening after angry Congress workers continued protests outside the luxury hotel.
Thirteen Congress-JD (S) legislators apart from one independent legislator H Ganesh left Sofitel hotel in Bandra Kurla Complex at 5 p.m. and are traveling to Goa by road, confirmed a state Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader. They are accompanied by Mumbai BJP youth president Mohit Bharatiya.
The group is expected to reach Goa nearly 600 km away in the early hours on Tuesday morning.
They had earlier in the day rejected Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister G Parmeshwara’s overtures that they would be accommodated in the new council of ministers. Soon after the message reached Bengaluru, the ruling JDS-Congress coalition deployed its top troubleshooter DK Shivakumar to convince them to change their mind, according to news agency ANI.
At the meeting held at the hotel on Monday morning, the Karnataka legislators, it is learnt, said that there would be no point in becoming ministers in the current set up as the stability of the Congress government could easily be shaken.
“They have rejected the compromise offered and are quite firm about their resignations. They said they want to be part of the new BJP-led government,’’ said a state BJP leader who is also camping at the hotel.
The rebels have so far not issued a statement or spoken to the media on Monday. But they did interact with media persons on Sunday to insist that they were not under any pressure.
Ten of the Karnataka legislators are lodged in Sofitel while three are at Shirdi.
The entire operation was managed by two city-based BJP leaders Prasad Lad and Mohit Kambhoj. Lad, a member of the legislative council and a former Nationalist Congress Party leader, is considered to be close to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.
Majority of these legislators arrived on Saturday in chartered flights owned by Jupiter Securities owned by an MP from south India.