BJP attempting “Operation Lotus” in Kalaburagi city corporation: state cong chief

"Let them do whatever they want, we will not interfere. Let the announcement happen (for Mayor election), then I will speak," Karnataka Congress President D K Shivakumar said.

Karnataka Congress President D K Shivakumar on Sunday alleged that attempts are on by the BJP for “Operation Lotus” to gain control over Kalaburagi city corporation, that got a fractured mandate during the recently concluded polls.

“Efforts are on…we are aware that efforts are on for Operation Lotus. Let them do whatever they want, we will not interfere. Let the announcement happen (for Mayor election), then I will speak,” Shivakumar told reporters in response to a question on gaining power in Kalaburagi city corporation.

‘Operation Lotus’ refers to the alleged attempts by the BJP to engineer defections from other parties.

The recent elections to the 55-member Kalaburagi civic body had thrown up a hung verdict, with the Congress winning 27, BJP 23, JD(S) 4 and one Independent.

The halfway mark is 28, making JD(S) corporators the “kingmakers”.

However, four newly elected JD(S) corporators of the Kalaburagi city corporation, whose support the Congress and BJP will need to gain power, are said to have decided to join hands with the party that offers them the Mayor’s post.

Both Congress and BJP have made attempts to seek support of the JD(S) to gain control of the corporation. Congress veteran Mallikarjun Kharge, who hails from the region, has reached out to party supremo H D Deve Gowda, while Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai has held talks with H D Kumaraswamy.

Bommai had recently expressed confidence about having a BJP Mayor in the Kalaburagi city corporation.

There are also reports that both Gowda and Kumaraswamy may not be on the same page on whom to support. While Gowda is inclined towards allying with the Congress, Kumaraswamy seems to be looking towards the BJP.

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