MLAs cooped up, but for how long, worry Cong-JD(S)

Hiding a kitten for a fortnight is no big deal, but keeping 117 legislators safe and ‘unreachable’ is a tough proposition. Well, that’s the weighty responsibility the leaders of Congress and JDS will have until the day when BS Yeddyurappa proves his majority on the floor of the house.  He is expected to swear in at 930 am today.

As per JD (S) president HD Kumaraswamy, BJP is on a horse-trading mode and some 28 of his MLAs were offered Rs 100 crore to switch camps.  “BJP is playing dirty politics and it will not be allowed in Karnataka,” he retorted.

According to senior Congress leader DK Shivakumar, party MLAs are in a safe resort. Some 52 Congress MLAs including party leaders Shivakumar himself and G Parameshwara will stay at Eagleton a resort in the outskirts of Bangalore. Almost all 38 JDS legislators will continue to stay at Hotel Shangri La in the city.

Going by numbers, Congress and JD(S) have a majority in the house with 116 MLAs and two independent legislators. BJP with 104 MLAs is 8 short of the magic number. Some 15 plus Congress MLAs are yet to reach Bangalore from their respective constituencies making themselves vulnerable to poaching from the BJP.

“This could be a tricky scenario for the Congress-JDS combo. Because it will be tough for MLAs to resist offers of such huge pile of cash, which will sustain them for generations,” said a source.

 “We will be having a meeting soon to discuss the future course of action. It won’t be easy to form the government. There is a plan to move our MLAs to a resort... They (BJP) are poaching our MLAs. We know that. Everyday, there is a lot of pressure. But it is not so easy. Because the two parties together have the necessary numbers. People are watching this”, said Shivakumar.

 As five Karnataka lawmakers went incommunicado on Wednesday morning, an orange alert went out across the Congress-JD(S) combine. However, few hours later, parties said all but one legislator were on board.  As per latest information, Anand Singh, Congress MLA from Hospet has already been defected. However, this information could not be confirmed.