“No one from the BJP has spoken to the MLAs in Mumbai. We have no role in the rebellion. They are disgruntled leaders.” – These were the words spoken by BS Yediyurappa, the incumbent Chief Minister of Karnataka, ahead of the vote of confidence in the Karnataka Assembly on 23 July.
Ever since the Congress and JD(S) leaders resigned en masse in early July, the BJP and its leaders, especially BS Yediyurappa, have consistently denied playing a role in toppling the Congress-JD(S) coalition.
However, these words are being proved wrong by disqualified Congress and JD(S) leaders, who are openly taking about how the plan to topple the coalition was formulated and executed.
Former legislator from Gokak, Ramesh Jarkiholi on Friday told his constituents that he conceptualised the plan to bring down the coalition government. Ramesh Jarkiholi also said that he had met with Yediyurappa, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP Karnataka in-charge Muralidhar Rao, and plans were approved to execute Operation Kamala.
Operation Kamala is a moniker for the Karnataka BJP’s plan of poaching leaders from the ruling party to bring down the government in a bid to clinch power.
Along with Ramesh Jarkiholi, former JD(S) state President AH Vishwanath too has spoken about how the BS Yediyurappa contacted him with an offer to join the BJP and quit the JD(S). He told TNM that BJP MP from Chamarajanagar V Srinivas Prasad contacted him with an offer.
AH Vishwanath is a long-term friend of V Srinivas Prasad. Both leaders share a camaraderie over their mutual dislike for former chief minister Siddaramaiah. Both Vishwanath and Srinivas Prasad had quit the Congress after accusing Siddaramaiah of trying to sabotage their political careers. While Srinivas Prasad had joined the BJP, Vishwanath had jumped to the JD(S).
“It was V Srinivas Prasad and Yediyurappa who contacted several MLAs with offers. I would not have accepted the offer if any other leader had asked me. It was only because Prasad asked me, that I decided to join the BJP. I did what Siddaramaiah did when he left JD(S) and joined Congress. Siddaramaiah took seven MLAs with him. We were tired of the caste politics in JD(S) and Congress,” AH Vishwanath said.
During the political drama that unfolded in the Karnataka Assembly ahead of the vote of confidence, Yediyurappa, Hubballi MLA Jagadish Shettar, the incumbent Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister JC Madhuswamy and most of the BJP leaders had strongly denied any role in orchestrating the coup in the Assembly.
(Published in an arrangement with The News Minute)
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