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Karnataka: Four MLAs defect to BJP

Vicky Nanjappa in Bengaluru | July 07, 2008 11:26 IST

With parliamentary elections round the corner, the Bharatiya Janata Party in Karnataka 'poached' two MLAs each from the Congress and the Janata Dal (S) in the last three days.

While the number of new entrants into the BJP stands at four, party sources told that the number is likely to go up to at least 10 as feelers have already been sent to the Siddaramaiah camp.

The BJP is banking heavily on Congress leader and former deputy chief minister Siddaramaiah.

BJP sources said they had sent him feelers and had also assured him of a good position within the party if he moved along with his supporters into the BJP.

The BJP camp is confident of netting Siddaramaiah at the moment as the latter had abstained from being part of a Congress delegation that went to New Delhi on Sunday. A delegation of the Congress party had gone to New Delhi to urge upon the Centre for better fertilizer supply.

Even as the BJP makes its moves deftly, the tremors being felt both in the JD(S) and Congress camps.

Narasimha Swamy (Congress), Anand Asnotikar (Congress), Balchandra Jharkholi JD(S) and Shivanna Gouda Naik (JD(S) have already tendered their resignations and have joined the BJP.

With these MLAs resigning, the procedure mandates that by-elections be held from their respective constituencies within six months.

The BJP strategy is to strengthen their position and also to add an advantage before the parliamentary elections. Netting in Siddaramaiah and his supporters will see the BJP in an advantageous position, especially in the Mysore region, feels the BJP.

While the BJP tries to poach more MLAs into its fold, the JD(S) has gone on the offensive by accusing the BJP of playing "cheap politics".

JD(S) supreme H D Deve Gowda told mediapersons the BJP behaved in an undemocratic manner.

BJP chief in Karnataka D Sadanananda Gowda, however, maintained that they had not poached any MLAs, but had only welcomed into its fold those members who wished to join the party.

Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa said that those joining the BJP were doing so voluntarily. He maintained that the MLAs who resigned from their respective parties were impressed with the developmental works undertaken by the BJP and hence they decided to shift.

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