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As Karnataka drama shifts to Delhi, Mumbai, who is trying to poach whom

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Bengaluru, Jan 15: Karnataka never fails to be in the news. The BJP which fell short of the majority mark in the elections conducted last year has moved 104 of its MLAs to New Delhi, in a bid to avoid poaching by the JD(S).

The legislators were moved to a resort win Gurgaon in a bid to avoid any poaching bid by the Janata Dal (S), which is in a coalition with the Congress in Karnataka. Over the past few days there have been confusing signals being sent out by all parties in Karnataka regarding the fate of the government.

As Karnataka drama shifts to Delhi, Mumbai, who is trying to poachwhom

It all began with Congress strongman, D K Shivakumar claiming that five of its lawmakers are in Mumbai and could be in touch with the BJP. This claim was however rejected by Karnataka Chief Minister, H D Kumaraswamy, who said that the lawmakers had informed him about their visit to Mumbai.

Also Read | Karnataka: 'We don't need to poach BJP MLAs', says Kumaraswamy

Shivakumar's statement set tongues wagging and there was once talk of a possible Operation Lotus that the BJP could be undertaking to topple the government. The BJP however rubbished this claim and said that it is the JD(S)-Congress which is in fact trying to poach its MLAs.

The question now is who is trying to topple whom? Top BJP sources tell OneIndia that the party would not want to get into any kind of adventure ahead of the 2019 elections. It would not try and force a split in the JD(S)-Congress camp. If there has to be any move, it should be by the MLAs from the other side, the source also said. Moreover the central leadership is not keen on any major move and would want the party to focus on the upcoming elections.

The BJP's best chance in south India is Karnataka and it would not want to squander its chances by getting into some kind of adventure, which has every chance of backfiring. The source also added that all this drama is also a result of the seat sharing talks between the JD(S) and Congress. Both are trying to create a situation of instability so that they have the upper hand over each other. The JD(S) has been demanding 12 out of the 28 Lok Sabha seats, but the Congress has refused. The Congress feels that the JD(S) has a realistic chance of winning in around 4 to 6 seats and hence the number should be restricted to just that.

In the 2014 elections, the BJP had won 17, Congress 9 and the JD(S), 2. Moreover the Congress has taken a more aggressive stand with its coalition partner after its impressive performance in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh.

Drama outside Karnataka:

The Karnataka drama is now playing out in Delhi and Mumbai. After moving 104 MLAs to Gurgaon, former chief minster and BJP's Karnataka chief, B S Yeddyurappa said that the JD(S) wants to break us. We will be in Delhi for a day or two. He also denied that the BJP was trying to poach MLAs from the Congress or JD(S).

The BJP also said that its lawmakers who are lodged in Gurgaon would also hold talks with regard to the Lok Sabha elections. The party also says that the coalition would collapse on its own and it did not need to anything to enforce that. There is a tussle between the Congress and JD(S) and they are trying to blame us for that mess, a party leader also informed.

Also Read | Operation Lotus: 'No threat to govt,' says Kumaraswamy, BJP rubbishes reports

Currently in the 224 member assembly, the Congress and JD(S) together have 118 MLAs as opposed to the 104 that the BJP has. In order to form the government, the BJP would need another 9 MLAs.

While all eyes would be on Delhi, there is also some action expected in Mumbai. Among the missing lawmakers, who are suspected to be in Mumbai are Ramesh Jarkiholi, Anand Singh, B Nagendra, Umesh Jadhav and B C Patil. While Jarkiholi is upset that he as dropped from the Cabinet, the others are angry about not being included in it.

In a bid to pacify these MLAs, Shivakumar is expected to travel to Mumbai today. Prior to attending the two day international conference on micro-irrigation in Aurangabad, he would be travel to Mumbai and is expected to hold talks with the MLAs.

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