As the new deadline for the trust vote for the Congress-JD(S) coalition to prove their majority in Karnataka government drew near, Congress MLA D K Shivakumar on Tuesday said it’s not the BJP, but the rebel MLAs who have backstabbed him. However, he cautioned the Opposition saying the MLAs who have ditched his party will do the same with the BJP too.
"It’s not BJP leaders who have backstabbed me but it’s the rebels in Mumbai who have backstabbed me. Do not worry, they will do the same to all of you. They cannot become ministers I’m telling you," Shivakumar said while speaking in Karnataka Assembly.
He said the BJP leaders are being misguided (by the dissident MLAs) as one of them has already told Shivakumar to take him away from Mumbai. "BJP leaders are being misguided. I went to Mumbai to speak to them (rebel MLAs). I spoke to one of the MLAs there and he asked me to come and take him away," he said.
He further said he had talked to M T B Nagaraj, a minister in the coalition government, before the latter left for Mumbai. Had the Congress not trusted the MLAs/ministers, the party could have well locked them up before they could move out of the state, he added. Follow Karnataka floor test LIVE updates
"Yes, I was the reason M T B Nagaraj got a ticket. We spoke to him and he gave a statement as well. Couldn’t we have locked them up? No, because we have trust in them," he said, adding that the MLAs should be brought back and allowed to vote. "Bring them here, let them vote against this government," asserted Shivakumar.
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After Nagaraj had resigned as an MLA, Shivakumar had met him to woo him back. Nagaraj had stated that he remained a member of the Congress despite quitting the coalition. However, the very next day, Nagaraj was captured by TV cameras in the company of senior BJP Karnataka leader R Ashok before travelling to Mumbai, and later held a press conference with the other rebels there.
(With inputs from ANI)