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Karnataka: BJP-Congress indulge in war of words over CLP meeting

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Bengaluru, Jan 18: Amid political turmoil in Karnataka, all eyes are on the Congress legislature party meeting which is scheduled to be held today at Vidhana Soudha, Bengaluru.

BS Yeddyurappa

The meeting assumes significance following attempts by the Congress to reach out to its disgruntled MLAs, who are allegedly ready to jump ship to the BJP side. The meeting is aimed at putting to rest speculation that the Congress is not a united house.

In Karnataka, a crisis is not over until the last MLA returns

"I am not bothered about their CLP meeting, that is left to Congress and JDS, why should I comment about it? They are telling many things, I am not responsible for that. Our 104 MLAs are worried about our party and preparing for Lok Sabha elections," Karnataka BJP chief BS Yeddyurappa told the media today.

Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister and senior Congress leader G Parameshwara exuded confidence that all the party MLAs would turn up for the meeting.

"Yeddyurappa is president of BJP, he need not worry about Congress MLAs, all of our MLAs will attend the CLP meeting. The pathetic thing is that BJP stooped to this level, they approached our MLAs & are still doing it but they will not succeed," he said, as quoted by ANI.

Operation Lotus fails again

It would be interesting to see how many turn up at the meeting. The BJP is keeping a close watch on Congress MLAs, Ramesh Jarkiholi, Umesh Jadhav and Mahesh Kumatalli. These MLAs are still in Mumbai and have not made their intentions clear. There were others too part of this sulk list, but the Congress managed to win them over. Shivram Hebbar and J N Ganesh too were presumed missing, but they return to Bengaluru and declared that they were still with the party.

Hebbar termed the episode as a misunderstanding and said that he was away at Andaman and Nicobar with his grandchildren. Former CM Siddaramaiah who would convene the meeting has warned absentees. He said that remaining absent would invite action under the 10th Schedule of the Constitution, which deals with the anti-defection law.

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