At least 12 of the total 78 MLAs of the Congress didn’t reach Karnataka Party Congress Committee office in Bengaluru to attend the party’s legislative meeting.
The MLAs went "incommunicado" amid the Congress party’s claims that the BJP, which fell short of the majority to form a government in Karnataka, was trying to poach its lawmakers.
“They (BJP) are poaching our MLAs, we know that. Every day there is a lot of pressure. But it is not so easy because two parties have the necessary number. People are watching this,” Congress leader DK Shivakumar said.
Another Congress leader Ramalinga Reddy said that the BJP was trying hard to get their MLAs but they were all happy within the party.
“We believe in all our MLAs. BJP is trying hard to get them. They don't believe in democracy, BJP just wants power. All the people are happy, nobody is unhappy here,” Reddy said.
Similar claims were made by the JD-S and party leader HD Kumaraswamy alleged that the BJP was offering Rs 100 crore each to their lawmakers to switch sides.
"JD-S MLAs are being offered Rs 100 crore each. Where is this black money coming from? They are supposedly the servers of poor people and they are offering money today," Kumaraswamy claimed.
"Where are the income tax officials?" he asked.
Earlier there were reports that two JD-S MLAs -- Raja Venkatappa Nayaka and Venkata Rao Nadagouda -- were missing from the JD(S) legislative party meeting which was held in a Bengaluru hotel.
Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, who was rushed to the state to seal the deal with the JD-S, expressed confidence in the party’s MLAs and dared BJP to try whatever they want.
“JD(S) has all the faith in their MLAs. Nobody is going to go away. Let BJP try, whatever they want to,” Azad said.