To prevent horse trading, Cong MLAs 'locked' in Gujarat RS election resort

Bengaluru, May 16: It is a repeat telecast of last year's Gujarat Rajya Sabha polls. The only difference is that last year Congress MLAs from Gujarat were flown here and put up  at a resort here, this time it's turn of Karnataka Congress MLAs. Interestingly, the resort remains the same. Like last year, Congress has taken the step to prevent alleged horse trading by the BJP.

Media reports say that the Congress has decided to move all its newly elected MLAs at the Eagleton Resort here, the same where Gujarat MLAs were moved last year. “Hotel or wherever we go, MLAs will stay together and discuss things. Congress is compelled to keep its MLAs together because of the horse-trading going on,” said senior Congress leader Ashok Gehlot. Sources say that 120 rooms have been booked in the resort by Congress.

Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) leader HD Kumaraswamy has accused the BJP of offering Rs 100 crore and cabinet posts to its newly elected legislators in a "desperate" attempt to form a government in Karnataka.

"Our legislators have been offered Rs 100 crore and cabinet seats by the BJP in return for support. Where are the Income Tax officials now?" the former Chief Minister asked at a press conference after a party legislators' meet held here.

The JD-S leader named Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah for the offer as the BJP, he said, was desperate to form a government and deny the JD-S a chance to form a government with Congress backing.

"This attempt by the BJP to poach our legislators will backfire as there are people who are willing to leave the BJP to support us (JD-S)," he alleged.

Outgoing Chief Minister Siddaramaiah too accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of encouraging horse-trading to lure Congress and JD-S legislators to their party for forming the government after the May 12 assembly election gave a fractured mandate.

"Modi and Shah are supporting BJP leaders in horse-trading to poach legislators of our party and the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) to prevent us from forming the next government in the state," Siddaramaiah told the media here.

Asserting that the party would not allow the BJP to form a government in the state at any cost, Siddaramaiah said none of the Congress legislators were missing or likely to defect to the BJP.

"We have a plan to safeguard our MLAs, who are together and will not join the BJP, which has 8 less seats for the 112-halfway mark and prove majority," Siddaramaiah said.