Ex-BJP minister S T Somashekar meets Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah amid buzz about ‘Operation Hasta’

08:09 AM Aug 21, 2023 | PTI |

Amid buzz over ‘Operation Hasta’ doing rounds regarding certain BJP legislators in Karnataka willing to go back to their ”mother party”, BJP MLA and former minister S T Somashekar on Sunday met Chief Minister Siddaramaiah.


Earlier in the day, party hopper Ayanur Manjunath, currently with JD(S), called on Deputy Chief Minister and Congress state chief D K Shivakumar.

Somashekar said in a statement that his meeting with Siddaramaiah was regarding a discussion on ”development of his constituency”.

The BJP MLA from Yashwanthpur constituency in the city met the Chief Minister at his residence.

Later, he said the meeting was regarding the need for a maternity hospital at Sir M Visvesvaraya Layout on a civic amenity plot and a flyover for Kengeri Satellite Town.


Somashekar has been hobnobbing with Congress leaders. Recently, he hailed Shivakumar and called him his ”political guru”.

Meanwhile, reacting to his meeting with Manjunath, Shivakumar said many people meet him. However, he said he cannot explain why they were meeting him.

‘Operation Hasta’, meaning ‘Operation Palm’ is a term that has gained significance now as it is said to be a drive to bring BJP leaders and legislators to the Congress fold.

Palm is the Congress’s party symbol and ‘Operation Hasta’ is said to be in retaliation to the BJP’s ‘Operation Lotus’ in 2019 when 17 Congress and JD(S) legislators jumped ship to join the BJP.

‘Operation Lotus’ had resulted in the toppling of the short-lived coalition government of Congress and the JD(S).

With rumours doing rounds that many BJP legislators and leaders are said to be in touch with Congress leaders, the BJP has started an exercise to keep its flock together. It is persuading its disgruntled MLAs who are said to have one foot out the door.

Two days ago, former chief minister Basavaraj Bommai said he had spoken to the BJP MLAs and former ministers Shivaram Hebbar and Munirathna.

”I spoke to them and they clearly said they are not going to quit the party. We have brought the local problems to the notice of our party president. That will be solved. We will remain united,” Bommai told reporters.

An angry rebuttal to ‘Operation Hasta’ came from former minister and BJP national general secretary C T Ravi who said he knew how to ”operate the palm”.

Reacting to it, Shivakumar on Sunday said: ”C T Ravi is giving us a threat that he will chop off the palm. What happened when you (BJP) took away Congress and JD(S) MLAs? When you can threaten others, others also know how to threaten you. You brought down the coalition government to form yours.” He clarified that he is not calling anyone to join the Congress and there was no need now in the party.


Udayavani is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel and stay updated with the latest news.