Congress and JD-S shift MLAs to Hyderabad to prevent 'poaching'

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Congress and JD-S shift MLAs to Hyderabad to prevent 'poaching'
Congress and JD-S shift MLAs to Hyderabad to prevent 'poaching'

Bengaluru : An embattled Congress and JD-S have shifted their newly-elected MLAs to Hyderabad from here to prevent the BJP from poaching them ahead of the crucial floor test in the new Assembly, officials said on Friday.

"We have shifted 36 of our legislators in a bus to Hyderabad to prevent the Bharatiya Janata Party from poaching them to defect," Janata Dal-Secular spokesman Ramesh Babu told IANS here.

JD-S state President H.D. Kumaraswamy, however, returned to Bengaluru, clarified Babu. The Congress also shifted its MLAs to Hyderabad in a separate luxury bus to prevent the BJP from approaching them.

Party leader D.K. Shivakumar told reporters here that the priority for the party was to keep its legislators safe.

"Our priority is to keep all our MLAs safe and intact. There is a lot of pressure on their families. So some of the legislators have been shifted to Hyderabad, while some have stayed back in Bengaluru," Shivakumar said.

The Congress leader, however, refused to specify how many legislators were shifted to Hyderabad in neighbouring Telangana. In the May 12 Assembly election in 222 segments, the BJP won 104, Congress 78 and JD-S 37.

As Kumaraswamy won from both Channapatna and Ramanagara assembly segments, the party effectively has 37 votes, including one vote from its Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) ally, as the JD-S state president can vote for one seat.

As the BJP is eight short of the 112-halfway mark for a simple majority to win the trust vote, Congress and JD-S which have formed a post-poll alliance, fear their MLAs would be poached to defect the confidence motion.