Karnataka: Congress hints at horse trading by BJP to break coalition

Surjewala accused the BJP of forming government through defections in 12 states.

New Delhi: Congress, on Saturday, accused the BJP of "denigrating" democracy by "engineering" defections in Karnataka and attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying the culture of "aaya ram gaya ram" has attained a new definition which is "Modi -- mischievously orchestrated defections in India".

Talking to reporters after a meeting of party leaders here to discuss the crisis faced by the ruling Congress-JD(S) coalition in Karnataka following the resignation of MLAs, Congress Communications chief Randeep Singh Surjewala said the party deprecates efforts of BJP to "buy over legislators".

The meeting, he said, was held to discuss the developments in Karnataka and they also discussed the situation with state party leaders.

Asked if there was any discussion on the leadership issue following Rahul Gandhi resignation as party chief, he said if there are any developments the media will be informed.

Surjewala accused the BJP of forming government through defections in 12 states.

"Aaya Ram, Gaya Ram (the culture of defections) has now attained a new definition in India. The new word for Aaya Ram Gaya Ram is Modi - mischievously orchestrated defections in India," Surjewala said.

He said Modi and BJP need to be aware that the coalition government in Karnataka, which has "complete majority" is sought to be pulled down by a spate of defections and resignations.

"The MLAs are being bought in broad daylight, democracy is being denigrated in broad daylight. The constitution is being trampled upon in broad daylight in Karnataka," he alleged.

Surjewala said the prime minister had taken the oath of the Constitution.

"If those who swear by the constitution of India are going to denigrate it, if those who swear by Constitution are going to trample over it, if those holding high office of prime minister and home minister are going to abdicate their duty towards the constitution, there will be no democracy left in this country," he said.

"We deprecate the efforts of BJP to buy over legislators, to pressurise legislators into resigning in order to bring down an elected government in Karnataka. BJP has started this culture of defections and `aaya ram gaya ram' in as many as 12 states of the country. Is this the culture of our democracy? It is a question that the entire country needs to ponder over?" he asked.

"If the government of the day is going to encourage defections in broad daylight, who is going to protect the Constitution and democracy. Howsoever high you may be, democracy and constitution are above you," he added.

Asked if party leaders were falling to inducements, Surjewala alleged that "money power" and investigative agencies were being used to pressurise legislators to change their loyalty.

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