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.
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.
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, sources said.
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.
Yediyurappa charged that the Congress government has "gone pauper". "No development work is undertaken and it is mired in corruption. A massive protest would be organised on Aug 23 in Bengaluru. If the government is still adamant the protest will be launched across the state," he added.
"The government is acting like a dictator. The threats are given for social media posts and media persons are also harassed. The BJP is staging a protest against all these matters," Yediyurappa stated.
Former Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said that he had discussed with BJP MLA’s S.T. Somashekar and Shivaram Hebbar. "We are in touch with all leaders and no one is quitting BJP. The local problems have been brought to the notice of the State President. The Congress wants to divert attention from the allegation of corruption, favoritism and rebellion of their own MLAs," he said.
Sources said that the Congress party is all set to carry out "Operation Hast" 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.
Deputy Cheif Minister Shivakumar has stated that everything is possible in politics on Friday.