Siddaramaiah Wades Into MP Crisis; Wistfully Says 'Operation Kamala Continuing Nationwide'


Senior Congress leader and former Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Wednesday launched an attack on the BJP amid the political crisis in Madhya Pradesh.

Written By Jay Pandya | Mumbai | Updated On:

Senior Congress leader and former Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Wednesday launched an attack on BJP amid the political crisis in Madhya Pradesh. Taking to Twitter, the Congress leader alleged that Madhya Pradesh Congress MLAs have been illegally locked up in a luxurious Hotel by BJP government in the State on the advice of their high command. He added that DK Shivakumar and Digvijaya Singh were not allowed to meet the MLAs and Congress workers have been detained. 

'This is a continuation of Operation Kamala'

In another tweet, he accused the police of acting on the behest of BJP leaders and  "protecting the kidnappers". He said, "A direct assault on democracy and democratically elected representatives. This is a continuation of Operation Kamala across the country. BJP is incapable of winning legally."

He claimed that Congress MLAs from Madhya Pradesh are "eager" to meet Digvijaya Singh but Karnataka Police are not allowing them. "Phones are also confiscated. Are we under a dictator or democratically elected representative?" he said. 

Operation Kamal (Lotus) was the moniker given to the BJP’s alleged plan to engineer the defections of seven Opposition MLAs after the 2008 Karnataka Assembly election. BJP had poached 20 MLAs from JD(S) and Congress, making them resign their assembly membership and contest by-polls, between 2008 and 2013. The term has since been used to describe similar efforts in the state.

'The noose was tightening around their neck'

Freed after being detained on Wednesday morning, Digvijaya Singh said at a press conference that the BJP had started offering money to Congress MLAs in Madhya Pradesh from day one of the Kamal Nath government. He accused the BJP -- which governed Madhya Pradesh for 15 years before the Congress took over -- of corruption and involvement in a honey trap case. He said BJP leaders knew the "noose was tightening around their neck".

READ | MP Congress submits memorandum to Governor, appealing him to bring back rebel MLAs

Digvijaya Singh also said former Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia had had a successful career in his party, and that the Congress didn't expect him to leave. A Congress delegation met Madhya Pradesh Governor Lalji Tandon, earlier in the day and asked him to free the MLAs 'held captive' in Bengaluru. They submitted a letter to him, and informed him that Digvijaya Singh had been taken into custody when he tried to meet the MLAs.

READ | SENSATIONAL: Congress insists on re-elections before Madhya Pradesh floor-test

Congress asks for by-elections 

On the other hand, the Congress on Wednesday sensationally sought re-elections in Madhya Pradesh, presumably for the 22 rebel MLAs' seats, before any floor-test is held in the politically unstable state, in a hearing on the matter in the Supreme Court. The Apex Court on Tuesday agreed to hear a petition filed by BJP national vice-president and former CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan and other party members seeking directions for a floor test to be held immediately in the Madhya Pradesh assembly.

READ | Kamal Nath breaks silence on Digvijaya's Bengaluru drama & detention; says 'I'll also go'

READ | Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury hits out at BJP over 'privacy breach' of rebel Congress MLAs

(With inputs from agencies)

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