â€˜Operation Lotusâ€™ after Lok Sabha polls?
Hubballi: Political activity is expected to gain momentum in the state soon after the second phase of voting on Tuesday (April 23).
Sources said the BJP is gearing up to launch Operation Lotus once again with the help of disgruntled Congress leader and MLA Ramesh Jarkiholi who is set to desert his party. Ramesh had met BJP president Amit Shah in Hubballi on Friday night to finalise the date to join the saffron party. Later, he held a discussion with his loyalists in Gokak to draw up the strategy to back BJP MP Suresh Angadi in the election, leaving his brother and Municipal Administration Minister Satish Jarkiholi annoyed.
A victory in the byelections to Kundagol and Chincholi assembly constituencies, scheduled for May 19 will give a shot in the arm to the BJP which currently has a strength of 104 in the state Assembly. It is said that a few legislators, especially those who were denied ministerial berths and other posts, are in touch with Ramesh. Therefore, the BJP is expected to step up its efforts to woo these legislators and garner a majority in the Legislative Assembly with the support of independent MLAs.
Meanwhile, Minister Satish Jarkiholi is reportedly keeping a close watch on the movements of his brother Ramesh to prevent a desertion of Congress legislators to the BJP which would threaten the stability of the state government. He asserted that though Ramesh is technically still in the Congress party, he has already identified himself with the BJP adding that any disciplinary action is unlikely to deter the Gokak MLA from crossing over to the saffron party.