5 Feb 2024

16 Bihar Congress MLAs sent to Hyderabad due to fear of Operation Lotus ahead of floor test

Patna: Taking preemptive measures against potential poaching attempts, the Congress party dispatched 16 out of its 19 MLAs in Bihar to Hyderabad on Sunday.

Out of the 19 Bihar MLAs, three—Sidhartha, Abidur Rahman, and Vijay Shankar Dubey—did not travel to Hyderabad due to health reasons.

On the previous day, the Congress high command summoned its Bihar MLAs to Delhi, where they held discussions with party President Mallikarjun Kharge before being sent to Hyderabad via a chartered plane on Sunday.

The Congress legislators are anticipated to return to Patna on February 12, the day of the floor test for the Nitish Kumar government during the Budget session.

Concerned about potential poaching of its MLAs in Bihar, the Congress leadership took this precautionary step by convening the members in Delhi.

Ajit Sharma, Congress MLA from Bhagalpur, confirmed that he and other party MLAs had been relocated to Hyderabad.

RJD leader Lalu Prasad Yadav had also asked the Congress leadership to keep tabs on its MLAs after the formation of the NDA government on January 28 but as the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra of Rahul Gandhi was about to reach the state’s Kishanganj the next day, they stayed in the state till January 31 and went to Jharkhand followed by Delhi and now Hyderabad.

Bihar Congress has sent 16 out of 19 MLAs to Hyderabad by chartered plane. All the MLAs had reached Delhi to attend the party meeting, from here they left for Hyderabad. The NDA government in Bihar has to prove its majority in the session starting from February 12. In such a situation, Congress fears that BJP may try to break its MLAs by running Operation Lotus.

If Congress MLAs break away then 13 out of 19 MLAs from Bihar Congress will have to go to another party together in order to avoide anti-defection law. 

What is Operation Lotus: The term Operation Lotus first came into discussion in 2008 during the political turmoil in Karnataka. However, Operation Lotus is not a campaign of BJP. BJP's effort to manipulate the opposition is called Operation Lotus.

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