3 Congress lawmakers missing in Karnataka? Siddaramaiah says ‘No!’

Bengaluru: Outgoing Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah today denied reports of Congress lawmakers gone missing and said, “All the Congress MLAs are intact. Nobody is missing. We are confident of forming the government.”

Reports on Wednesday morning said three Karnataka lawmakers went "incommunicado" and an orange alert went out across the Congress-Janata Dal Secular (JDS) combine, which claims numbers to form government after a hung verdict in Karnataka.

The meeting of newly-elected Congress legislators was delayed this morning as the party couldn't communicate with three of its lawmakers, Rajshekhar Patil, Narendra and Anand Singh, NDTV report mentioned sources as saying.

Another Congress lawmaker claimed that he had been approached by the BJP.

“I got a call from the BJP leaders. They said come to us and we'll give a ministry to you. We'll make you a minister. But, I'm going to stay here. HD Kumaraswamy is our Chief Minister,” Congress’ Amaregouda Linganagouda Patil Bayyapur told news agency ANI.

“They (BJP) are poaching our MLAs, we know that. Everyday there is a lot of pressure. But it not so easy because two parties have the necessary number. People are watching this,” Congress’ DK Shivakumar said.

Unofficially, Congress leaders say there are plans to move their legislators to a resort.

“Yes definitely there is a plan. We have to safeguard our MLAs, We will let you know what is the plan,” Shivakumar told the media today.

According to reports, BJP leader KS Eshwarappa admitted that his party is in touch with some Congress and JD(S) legislators.

The Karnataka verdict has left room for such negotiations as the BJP which is short of eight lawmakers to reach the halfway mark, is desperate for numbers, alleged Congress and JDS leaders.

The BJP emerged as the single largest party in results that was announced on Tuesday but fell short of the magic number of 112. The Congress has won 78 seats and the JD(S) 38.

The fear of "MLA shopping" was raised on Tuesday evening by JD(S) leader HD Kumaraswamy, who is looking to become chief minister with the support of the Congress.

Also Read: Taking care to ensure our MLAs are not poached, says HD Kumaraswamy

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