Bengaluru: Political mudslinging among the Janata Dal (Secular), or JDS, Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) hit its peak on Friday, sidelining the Karnataka budget—the actual agenda of the day.

The Congress finally ran out of patience and on Friday decided to act against four rebel members of legislative assembly (MLAs) to contain the threat the dissidents posed to the already fragile coalition government in the state.

Siddaramaiah, former chief minister and leader of the Congress legislature party, said that the party would take legal action under the stringent anti-defection law against the four missing MLAs—Ramesh Jarkiholi, B. Nagendra, Mahesh Kumathalli, and Umesh Jadhav—amid reports they were considering defecting to the BJP.

“It is the unanimous opinion of the legislature party that I should proceed further to take legal action available under the anti-defection law," Siddaramaiah said.

Far from looking to resolve the challenges facing Karnataka, political parties—both ruling and opposition—appeared to be more invested in issues facing them.

Karnataka chief minister H.D. Kumaraswamy started the day by tearing into the BJP's national leadership, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “(Narendra) Modi is systemically demolishing the country’s democratic system," Kumaraswamy said.

The chief minister said that he held the prime minister “personally responsible" for his party’s actions in Karnataka, which has been accused of trying to destabilize the government by luring ruling MLAs with money and promises of ministerial berths.