'Operation Lotus'-BJP ropes in 2 more MLAs in Karnataka

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Bangalore, Aug 18: 'Operation Lotus' launched by the ruling BJP in Karnataka, to woo members from other parties has dealt a severe blow to its former ally, the Janata Dal (Secular) by roping in two more legislators into its fold today.

Former Minister Umesh Katti and Gourishankar, son of former Minister and JD(S) leader C Chanigappa, quit their assembly seat.After submitting their resignation letters to Speaker Jagadish Shettar, they announced their decision to join the BJP. Defending his decision to desert JD(S), Mr Katti said he was frustrated over family-centric politics pursued by former Prime Minister and JD(S) President H D Deve Gowda and his sons and therefore he was joining the ruling BJP.

The other JD(S) legislator Mr Gourishankar said that he was joining the BJP in the interest of the development of his constituency.

Asked whether his action did not amount to opportunistic politics, Mr Gourishankar said ''It is not so. It was done in the interest of the people. I have joined BJP without any pre-condition and I am not aspiring for any power in the party.'' While Mr Katti was elected to the Legislative Assembly from Hukkeri constituency, Mr Gourishankar was elected from Madhugiri in the elections held in May this year.

With the quitting of Mr Katti and Mr Gowrishankar from the JD(S), seven sitting legislators, including three from Congress, who quit their assembly seat have joined the BJP.

The resignations of Umesh Katti and Gaurishankar has been accepted by the Speaker.

UNI

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