‘Fadnavis helping efforts to topple Kumaraswamy govt’: Mallikarjun Kharge hits out at Maharashtra CM

Kharge also accused the Centre of using enforcement agencies the Enforcement Directorate, the Income Tax department to threaten the MLAs.

Amid high drama in the Karnataka Assembly over the confidence motion moved by the state s Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge on Thursday launched an attack against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.

In Mumbai to attend a Congress party function, Kharge, who is also All India Congress Committee s general secretary in charge of Maharashtra, accused Fadnavis of playing an active role in attempts at toppling the Kumaraswamy government. Earlier in the morning, eyebrows were raised when another Congress legislator, Srimant Patil, landed in Mumbai ahead of the debate over the trust vote.

While health complications were cited as the reason for Patil s arrival in the commercial capital, Kharge questioned it. A BJP leader aware of the developments said that the Congress legislator had complained of chest pain. He came to Mumbai in the morning. He was immediately admitted to a hospital for treatment. His treatment is ongoing, said the BJP leader, further claiming that a total of 16 rebel MLAs from Karnataka were now in Mumbai.

Raising suspicion, Kharge said, When there are leading cardiac care hospitals in Karnataka, why was he (Patil) brought here. Nobody knows when he came here.

While accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi of murdering the Indian Constitution, the senior Congress leader alleged that Fadnavis was using the police machinery to aid efforts to destabilise the Karnataka government.

The BJP is making attempts to topple a government elected by the people. When our government was functioning well, it has stooped to politics of the worst order in a bid to topple it, alleged Kharge.

He also accused the Centre of using enforcement agencies the Enforcement Directorate, the Income Tax department to threaten the MLAs.

Show of unity

At a time when the Congress in Maharashtra is also battling an exodus of leaders and complaints of increased factionalism in the party ahead of the state polls, the Maharashtra Congress unit demonstrated a show of unity. During the function where newly appointed state Congress president Vijay (Balasaheb) Thorat formally took charge of the state unit, leaders insisted on the need to set aside differences and come together for the polls. Assembly polls in Maharashtra are due in October.

The BJP is hurting India s secular ideology. It is important to stand together to defeat them in the upcoming poll, said Kharge.

Former Chief Minister Sushilkumar Shinde also said that each one of us will have to work in unison . Shinde also batted for better representation of new faces. Thorat, meanwhile, asked leaders not to focus so much on those who have left the party. Without dropping any names, he said, Their going has created space. This is an opportunity that others can make the most of.