Two BJP MLAs skip party meeitng amid rumours of joining Congress before LS polls

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) rally.

Bengaluru: Amid the rumors of “Operation Hasta” or “Reverse Operation Lotus”, two prominent BJP MLAs skipped a crucial meeting called by former Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa in Bengaluru.

The meeting was organised to clear the air about rumours of BJP leaders joining Congress ahead of Lok Sabha elections, IANS reported.

Congress has devised ‘Operation Hasta’ to foil any attempt by the BJP if the saffron party tries to induce its MLAs to defect to reach the magic number of 113 in the 224-member House). Hasta in Kannada means hand, the symbol of Congress. The counting of votes will take place on May 13.

Former minister and BJP MLA S T Somashekar and Bhyrati Basavaraj remained absent during the meeting.

Both hail from Bengaluru and are said to be capable of winning the seats on their own. Somashekar had addressed Deputy Cheif Minister D.K. Shivakumar as his “guru” (mentor) and showered praises on him.

The report quoting sources said that Shivakumar and Chief Minister Siddaramaiah are at loggerheads over rejoining Basavaraj back to Congress.

Basavaraj is a resourceful leader representing K.R. Puram seat in Bengaluru. Shivakumar is making an all out effort to pull him into the party, the report said quoting sources.

The meeting was held at the residence of Yediyurappa.

Speaking after the meeting, Yediyurappa maintained that “all is well” within the party and maintained that the meeting was organised hastily and those who are available have attended the meeting.

“No one is leaving the BJP party. Everyone is with us. Because the matter was conveyed urgently, all leaders couldn’t attend it. One or two leaders are worried over certain factors, so I will call them and personally speak to them. I can assure that no one is leaving the party,” Yediyurappa maintained.

Sources told the news agency that the Congress party is all set to carry out “Operation Hasta” through which more than 15 leaders from BJP and JD (S) would be poached.

The leaders are already being approached and further talks about their positions are being talked about with them, they added.

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