Bengaluru: Due to hung assembly ‘Resort Politics’ is in play in the South Indian state of Karnataka. The Congress and JD(S) combine, with 116 seats, have the simple majority to form the government in the 222 seats assembly, while BJP is falling short of eight seats short to achieve the ‘magic number’ of 112.
When political parties send off their lawmakers to a safe place so that the opposition cannot even reach them let alone attempt to poach them, it’s called ‘resort politics.’
All roads lead to the Raj Bhawan where Governor Vajubhai Vala has met BS Yeddyurappa but has not yet given an audience to the JD(S)-Congress representatives. BJP has sought time to prove majority. Both BJP and Congress fear that their MLAs will be poached, by the other, before the floor test. JD(S) has accused the BJP of offering Rs 100 crore to its MLAs in addition to a cabinet berth, to switch allegiance.
At least three Congress MLAs confirmed that they were contacted by BJP. Consequently, the Congress has decided to move all their elected members to a resort, in order to make them inaccessible from the BJP. Before heading to a key party meeting, Congress leader DK Shivkumar said that all MLAs will be moved to a resort.
Taking a dig at the possible resort politics, the official Twitter handle of Kerala Tourism on Tuesday invited the parties to park their MLAs safely in ‘God’s Own Country’.
The tweet was later deleted from their twitter handle.
Well, this is not the first time ‘resorts’ became the safe houses for politicians:
2017: 16 MLAs of AIADMK moved to resorts in Puducherry
In 2017, 16 of the 19 MLAs supporting TTV Dinakaran were moved to resorts in Puducherry to prevent them from defecting to former CM Palaniswami faction of the AIDMK in Tamil Nadu. Palaniswami faction needed 117 to reach a simple majority, but he had the confidence of just 104 MLAs out of party’s 134. In order to save them from poaching, Dinakaran moved his loyalists to a resort.
August 2017: To save Congress’ Ahmed Patel
Congress flew 44 of their MLAs to the Eagleton golf resort in Bangalore ahead of Rajya Sabha poll in Gujarat where a number of Congress MLAs had defected to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
June 2002: Vilasrao Deshmukh flew MLAs to Mysore
In the midsts of a political crisis in Maharashtra, then Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh moved 71 MLAs from Congress, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and a few independents to Mysore. They were kept in a resort and were allowed to visit tourist spots, dozens of party workers were also sent to keep a watch on them.
September 1995: N Chandrababu Naidu defects with MLAs
Back in 1995 when NT Rama Rao faced an internal revolt with his son-in-law and future CM N Chandrababu Naidu. Naidu shifted his ‘loyal’ MLAs to the Viceroy Hotel in Hyderabad and succeeded in ousting Rama Rao, who never returned to power after that.
August 1984: NT Rama Rao moves TDP MLAs
In 1984 also then Andhra Pradesh CM NT Rama Rao-led Telugu Desam Party’s (TDP) government was hit by an internal revolt led by his own aide Nadendla Bhaskar Rao, the actor-turned-politician sent all their MLAs to Bangalore, before finally moving them to Delhi. Rama Rao’s government however collapsed and but he returned to power within two months.
October 1983: Ramakrishna Hegde ‘protects’ MLAs in Karnataka
In 1983 when Prime Minister Indira Gandhi decided to shake the Ramakrishna Hegde-led Janata Party government in Karnataka, then Chief Minister Hegde decided to protect them from what he called the “Congress vultures’ with ‘resort politics’.