After flight plan fails, 3 buses ferry Karnataka lawmakers to Hyderabad

Bengaluru: Around 12:15 am on Thursday night, two buses from Bengaluru accelerated to the highway packed with around 116 lawmakers of Karnataka Congress and the Janata Dal (Secular). Feared of being “poached” by the BJP, the MLAs were driven to Hyderabad under secrecy from the media and others.

To ensure more comfort to the lawmakers, a third bus was roped in and few of the MLAs were shifted to that for a relaxed over-night ride from Karnataka to Telangana. Most of the lawmakers needed breaks after a day of non-stop political developments in Karnataka where political activities have been simmering since the assembly election results were announced on Tuesday.

The decision to move out MLAs from Karnataka elevated shortly after BJP's B S Yeddyurappa was sworn in as the chief minister of Karnataka on Thursday. 

The BJP is eight short of the majority mark. The Congress-JDS hopes that the Supreme Court in its hearing today will cut short the time given to B S Yeddyurappa to prove majority.

Inviting Yeddyurappa to form the BJP government in the state, Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala on Thursday gave him 15 days time to prove majority.

To prevent their lawmakers from getting lured by the incentives, offers as well as threats from the BJP, the Congress and JD (S) had planned to fly the MLAs out of Bengaluru in a chartered plane.

The plan did not materialise as the airline operators refused and the Congress had a plan B ready for preventing its MLAs being poached. The Congress then organized the bus trip to Hyderabad.

"We didn't get permission…The airline operators refused," said Congress leader DK Shivakumar, who organised the bus trip to Hyderabad told around half-past 11 on Thursday night.

About an hour later, the buses drove out of Eagleton, a private resort in Bengaluru where the Congress MLAs had been put up, and Shangri-La, a luxury hotel where the JD(S) lawmakers had been staying.

Mid-way, the lawmakers switched buses, apparently for security. One of the buses offers a sleeper coach. Water, blankets, foods, everything was arranged for the tedious journey.

A journey of 500 km took eight hours.

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