BJP gets a taste of its own pill in poll-bound Karnataka, Amit Shah steps in to keep flock together

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BySouth First Desk

Published Mar 24, 2023 | 2:13 PMUpdatedMar 29, 2023 | 12:52 PM

Narayana Gowda

Operation Kamala — often also referred to as Operation Black Lotus — was first launched in Karnataka, and the BJP rode on its success to power for the first time in a South Indian state in 2008.

The saffron party later replicated the model in several other states to mine MLAs from rival political formations.

Fifteen years after mining baron G Janardhana Reddy launched Operation Kamala, the BJP is now getting a taste of its own pill in Karnataka.

The party is witnessing several of its leaders crossing the floor to the Congress, a few weeks ahead of the Assembly polls.

The migration has left the BJP’s central leadership worried. The leadership has now stepped in to prevent more disgruntled elements from jumping ship and to counter the Congress’s Operation Hastha.

The leaders are leaving the saffron camp fearing that the party may not grant them tickets to contest the polls.

Suspecting that Minister for Youth Empowerment and Sports KC Narayana Gowda is in the queue to pledge allegiance to the Congress, Union Home Minister Amit Shah summoned him to Delhi on Thursday, 23 March.

Rumours have been flying thick and fast that Gowda, representing the KR Pete constituency in the Mandya district, is planning a political switchover.

“Shah had a closed-door meeting with Narayana Gowda and convinced him to remain with the party. He has been asked to lead the party in Mandya,” sources privy to the development said.

“Shah is likely to chair a meeting of all those leaders who are planning to quit the BJP ahead of the polls,” sources claimed.

The BJP has been planning to make inroads into the Vokkaliga-dominated Mandya. By convincing Gowda to lead the party, it avoided a major embarrassment.

For the record, Janardhana Reddy, once the blue-eyed boy of BJP leaders — especially of the late Sushma Swaraj — later found himself in jail in the illegal mining scam.