Veteran BJP leader B S Yediyurappa on Thursday acknowledged that there is a delay in naming the leader of opposition in the Karnataka Assembly and the new state party president, and said he would make all efforts to exert pressure on the party high command to make these appointments.
The BJP, which is the principal opposition party in the state, has not yet appointed its legislature party leader who will also play the role of the leader of opposition in the Assembly. The previous Assembly session in July was held without a leader of opposition.
The BJP is facing intense criticism from the ruling Congress for its inability to make an appointment to the post. Responding to questions on speculation that BJP legislators have threatened to boycott the next Assembly session unless a leader of opposition is appointed, Yediyurappa said, “I have requested them (BJP high command) to take a decision at the earliest.” Before the Winter Session of the Assembly in December, appointments to the posts will likely be made, the BJP Parliamentary Panel member said.
Speaking at a press conference, Yediyurappa also said that a leadership tussle is going on between Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and his deputy D K Shivakumar.
The BJP leader said the Congress government in the state is struggling to fulfil its pre-poll promises, and all development activities in the state have come to a standstill.
“The fight for leadership between Siddaramaiah and D K Shivakumar faction has reached its peak,” he said, adding that to keep the Deputy Chief Minister in check, “dinner meetings have started in the party”.
The “dinner meeting” was in reference to a dinner hosted by Karnataka Home Minister G Parameshwara, which Siddaramaiah and Public Works Department Minister Satish Jarkiholi had reportedly attended.
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On allegations by Congress leaders that another “Operation Lotus” was in the works, Yediyurappa said that these were “irresponsible statements”. “If they have any proof, let them conduct an investigation,” he said, adding that the ruling party leaders were making these statements to “hide their failures”.
Operation Lotus is a reference to the BJP allegedly luring several Opposition MLAs to give up their Assembly membership and defect and win the election on the saffron party ticket. The term was first used in 2008 during the then BJP government headed by Yediyurappa.
A second “Operation Lotus” was alleged in 2019 when 17 Congress and JD(S) legislators shifted camp to the BJP, toppling the 14-month-old Congress-JD(S) coalition government under H D Kumaraswamy.
With PTI inputs