Why would we poach JD(S) MLAs, asks Parameshwara

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Bangalore, June 1: The allegation by the JD(S) that the Congress party is trying to poach its MLAs in order to increase its numbers in the Legislative Assembly was nothing but an exercise aimed at “gaining public sympathy”, KPCC President, G Parameshwara, said here on Saturday.

“There is absolutely no need for us to make MLAs belonging to the Opposition resign and let them contest the elections afresh on the Congress ticket,” Parameshwara asserted. “We have enough MLAs.” He was reacting to the allegation levelled by the leader of Opposition, H D Kumaraswamy, that the Congress party was “indulging” in ‘Operation Hasta’ (on the lines of ‘Operation Kamala’ which the BJP mastered five years ago).

The JD(S) leader had alleged that about four of its MLAs were being “wooed” by the Congress party. JD(S) MLAs representing Pulakeshi Nagar, Devanahalli, Nelamangala and Mudigere constituencies were “approached” by the Congress party, Kumaraswamy had claimed. Parameshwara said that his party had flayed ‘Operation Kamala’, saying it was against the spirit of democracy. “Why would we go the BJP way? The JD(S) allegation is nothing but an attempt at gaining public sympathy,” he affirmed.

No plans to quit JD(S)

Nelamangala MLA, Srinivasamurthy, denied that the Congress ever approached him. “I’ve no plans to quit JD(S),” he said.

When Parameshwara was asked whether Samajawadi Party MLA, C P Yogeeshwara, will be made a minister, he replied in the negative.

He, however, hastened to add: “Between 1999 and 2004, we had Independent MLAs as associated members of the Congress. The law permits such an arrangement. If somebody volunteers to be associated with our party, we will consider it. But we do not need anybody’s support because we have enough numbers.”

When asked about his absence from Friday’s meeting of the Congress Legislature party, Parameshwara said that he could afford to skip such events. The KPCC General Secretary, N S Bose Raju, had been deputed for the meeting, he pointed out. The KPCC head also refused to read too much into senior leader D K Shivakumar’s failure to swear in as an MLA.

There were reports that he didn’t take oath in protest against his omission from the Cabinet. But Parameshwara said: “What is he protesting for? He could not attend the Assembly only for personal reasons. He will take oath either on Monday or Tuesday.”

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