BENGALURU : In a show of solidarity, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu and Telengana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao have offered shelter to the Karnataka Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) MLAs.
CNN-News18 reported that the two leaders called senior JD (S) leader and former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda on Thursday and made the offer. While Naidu told him that he was ready to shelter the MLAs at Vijayawada, Rao offered safe acoomodation in his state.
The safety of the MLAs had become a concern after Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Rudabhai Vala granted 15 days time to Chief Minister B S Yedyurappa to prove his majority on the floor of the Assembly.
Many, including eminent jurist Ram Jethmalani has described this as an open door to corruption. The senior lawyer has moved the Supreme Court in his personal capacity against the governor’s decision to invite the BJP to form government in the state.
“The governor’s order is a gross abuse of the constitutional power and this has brought disrepute to the constitutional office he has been holding,” Jethmalani submitted while submitting his plea before a bench headed by Chief Justice Deepak Mishra.
Yeddyurappa, who took oath as the 23rd chief minister of Karnataka on Thursday morning, said he will prove his majority on the floor of the house. However, political observers said that the party with seven MLAs short of absolute majority cannot claim majority without getting support from either the Congress or JD (S) camp.
There have been allegations that the BJP has been trying to purchase MLAs. The offer from Andhra and Telengana to provide shelter to the MLAs has come in this context.
The move is also considered significant since the alliance between the Congress and JD (S) is an as a precursor to the unity of opposition parties against the BJP in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
Naidu, who came out of the NDA led by the BJP in protest against the Modi government’s refusal to grant special status to Andhra Pradesh, and the Telengana chief minister have been in touch with leaders of regional parties in various states to cobble together and anti-BJP alliance.