Bengaluru: A day after BSP chief Mayawati attacked the Congress, the lone BSP member of the Karnataka Cabinet, N Mahesh, dropped a bombshell on Thursday and claimed that his party would contest in all 28 Lok Sabha seats in the state on its own.
He ruled out an electoral alliance with any party, including the JDS, with whom the BSP had a pre-poll tie up in the Karnataka Assembly elections in May.
Mahesh was the only BSP candidate to win the assembly election. He contested from Kollegala in Chamarajanagara district in south Karnataka. On Mayawati's insistence, he was made a minister in the JDS-Congress government.
Speaking to media on Thursday, he said, “I am still a part of the JDS-Congress coalition government in Karnataka. Nobody has asked me to quit. I will do whatever my leader Mayawati says.”
He also triggered a controversy by calling upon the villagers in his constituency to "weed out Congress". Later, he clarified that he was referring to Parthenium, which is known as "Congress weed" in rural areas of the state.
“When I said Congress, the political party Congress was not in my mind. I was just using a slang or a colloquial word for Parthenium weed," he claimed.
The state Congress is yet to react to his statements. However, JDS supremo and former PM HD Deve Gowda has maintained that all is well and the alliance is intact.
Mayawati had declared on the day of H D Kumaraswamy's swearing in that she would be sharing seats with Congress and JDS in Karnataka in all future elections.
She had also displayed great bonhomie with Congress’ Sonia Gandhi and Rahul, but the relation seems to have soured as she has decided to not tie-up with the grand old party for the assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhatisgarh.