Take BJP's poaching of Opposition MLAs seriously: Congress leader

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New Delhi, Jul 6 (UNI) Alarmed by the poaching of MLAs from the Opposition camp, the Congress leaders from Karnataka is understood to have prevailed upon the party leadership that they should take a serious view of the developments.

A large delegation of Congress leaders who are here to meet the party's central leaders regarding the problems concerning the state and the prevailing political situation is understood to have impressed upon the party leadership that they can not sit back and relax just because the ruling BJP had taken recourse to the legally permissible course by asking the defecting MLAs to resign their seats, a member attending the meeting said.

The state Congress leaders who had their meeting with party's central leaders, including Minister for Labour Oscar Fernandes, Minister of State for Prime Minister's Office Prithviraj Chauhan and party in-charge of Karnataka affairs Santosh Bagrodia, were wary about the attitude that the party could not derive any satisfaction that the BJP had stuck to democratically acceptable position because they were asking the MLAs to give up their membership as provided under the anti-defection law.

Leader of the Opposition in the Karnataka Assembly and the Pradesh Congress President M Mallikarjuna Kharge however accused the BJP in the state of alluring the MLAs offering them huge money for development of their constituencies. Such a discrimination is against the democratic spirit and the party would want the workers in the constituencies to teach such defecting MLAs a lesson in the coming byelections. The BJP is insecure about its stability, he alleged.

The state Congress leaders confabulation has been taking place in the light of the reports emanating from Bangalore that the three Opposition MLAs including a Congress MLA had quit their membership and was standing for election on BJP ticket. ''We can't allow such a situation,'' the leader said. The BJP has 110 MLAs and is obviously making all efforts to increase its numbers by encouraging the MLAs from the Opposition enches to give up their seats.

The three-hour long meeting also resulted in the Congress' central leadership agreeing to convene block and district level meeting of workers and the candidates who contested the recently concluded elections to analyse what went wrong, sources said.

Among the leaders who attended today's meetings with the Prime Minister and other central leaders included former Karnataka Chief Minister N Dharam Singh, former ministers H K Patil, D K Shivakumar and H C Srikantaiah.

UNI MCN KK Mir BD2317

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