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'MODI stands for Mischievously Orchestrated Defections in India': Congress on Karnataka crisis

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New Delhi, July 6: The Congress on Saturday accused the BJP of trying to bring down its coalition government in Karnataka by "buying" MLAs and asserted that the new word for the 'aaya ram, gaya ram' phenomenon is "MODI -- mischievously orchestrated defections in India".

The strong reaction of the party came after 13 legislators of the ruling Congress-JD(S) alliance in Karnataka submitted their resignation to the Speaker. The ruling coalition has 118 members in the 224-member Assembly.

Congresss chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala

Senior leaders of the Congress, including Mallikarjuna Kharge, Ahmed Patel, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Randeep Surjewala and Anand Sharma, met here to deliberate the political situation arising out of the resignations of MLAs in Karnataka.

"The new word for 'aaya ram gaya ram' is MODI -- mischievously orchestrated defections in India," Congress's chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala told reporters, taking a swipe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

"The Karnataka government which is a joint government having complete majority under our democratic setup is now being sought to be pulled down by a spate of defections and resignations," he said. "MLAs are being bought in broad daylight. Democracy is being denigrated in broad daylight. Constitution is being trampled in broad daylight in Karnataka by the ruling BJP government at the Centre," he alleged.

Hitting out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister and BJP president Amit Shah, Surjewala said if those who swear by the Constitution and hold such high offices are going to "abdicate" their duty towards the Constitution, there will be no democracy left in the country.

"We deprecate the efforts of the BJP to buy over legislators, to pressurise legislators into resigning to bring down an elected government in Karnataka," he said, asserting that the BJP has made such moves in other states in the past as well. The BJP started this culture of 'aaya ram, gaya ram' and defections in as many as 12 states of the country, he said. The 'aaya ram, gaya ram' phenomenon refers to the practice of MLAs defecting to other parties.

"It all started in Arunachal Pradesh when an entire government was made to defect twice over. It went to Assam and Manipur. It went to Tripura and Goa. It happened in Uttarkhand and Gujarat. Recently it happened in Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Telangana, Haryana and Maharashtra," Surjewala said.

[HDK in US, Dinesh Gundu Rao in UK; Crisis strikes coalition govt in Karnataka][HDK in US, Dinesh Gundu Rao in UK; Crisis strikes coalition govt in Karnataka]

If the Prime Minister and the government of the day are going to encourage defections in order to bring down elected governments who will protect the Constitution and democracy, he said.

"We want to say to them (the BJP) that no effort of yours will ever succeed in denigrating India's democracy or its laudable Constitution ...Constitution and democracy is above you," he said. Later in a tweet, he said, "Trampling of Constitution & Denigration of Democracy by BJP to topple elected govt of Karnataka by defections is their definition of 'New India'."

The JD(S)-Congress coalition's total strength, including those who have put in their papers, is 118 (Congress-78, JD(S)-37, BSP-1 and Independents-2), besides the Speaker. The BJP has 105 MLAs in the House.


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