Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy on Saturday claimed that the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) ‘Operation Kamala’ was still on and accused the saffron party of offering “huge amount of money” to a JDS MLA to switch sides. "Operation Kamala (Lotus) is still on. Last night they (BJP) offered one of our MLAs huge amount of money. You'll be surprised to know the amount. Our MLA told them he doesn't need any gift and not to try these things with him. This is how they are still working on poaching," news agency ANI quoted Kumaraswamy as saying.
Reacting to the allegations of the Karnataka chief minister, BJP’s BS Yeddyurappa said that his party was not indulging in any such operation and that whatever was happening in his party was an internal fight.
"We aren't indulging in any Operation Kamala. Their MLAs are trying to go away from them due to their internal fight. It's their duty to keep them intact. They should stop giving baseless statements against us. We're 104 and 2 independent MLAs are also in opposition," Yeddyurappa said.
The political crisis gripped the south Indian state after Karnataka minister and Congress strongman DK Shivakumar said that three of their MLAs have gone missing and claimed that they were at a Mumbai hotel with BJP leaders. Shivakumar also alleged that they were offered money to switch sides.
Following the claims, the Congress called a legislature meeting to test the loyalties of its MLAs. However, four of them - Ramesh Jarkiholi, who was removed as a minister in the recent cabinet rejig, B Nagendra, Umesh Jadhav and Mahesh Kumatahalli – did not turn up for the meeting.
The Congress has been accusing the BJP of trying to topple its coalition government with the JD-S. The party had even shifted its 76 MLAs to Bengaluru’s Eagleton resort in a bid to foil any poaching bid by the BJP. The BJP, however, rebutted the allegations and claimed that it was the Congress-JDS government that was trying to break its MLAs.