Umesh Jadhav, one of four Congress rebel MLAs in Karnataka tendered resignation to Karnataka Assembly speaker KR Ramesh Kumar on Monday.
The reason for his resignation was not instantly clear. Jadhav, a two-time MLA from the Chincholi constituency, is expected to join the BJP. His resignation takes down the strength of the house to 223. The Congress-JD(S) coalition presently has 116 members plus the Speaker. The opposition BJP has 104 members.
A senior BJP leader told it was not yet confirmed when Jadhav would join the party, but there is speculation that it would happen on March 6 in Gulbarga where Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to addresses a rally. “It is almost confirmed that he will be our candidate in Gulbarga against Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge,” the BJP leader told.
Jadhav is supposed to have been disgruntlement after being denied a cabinet berth while Kharge’s son Priyank was made a minister in the current government.
Karnataka Congress president Dinesh Gundu Rao said Jadhav’s resignation was anticipated. “He grew because of the Congress and we did not do any injustice to him. He betrayed the party for his selfish needs,” he told. “As far as I know nobody else is planning to leave the party,” he added.
Jadhav was one of four MLAs who had skipped two Congress Legislature Party meetings. The Congress had complained to Speaker Ramesh Kumar to take action against the four under anti-defection laws
The Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) coalition government in Karnataka has been accusing the BJP of trying to lure their MLAs into the saffron camp.
Last month, BJP leader and former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa was purportedly recorded trying to entice a JD (S) MLA’s son at a government guest house in Devdurga in Raichur.
Chief minister HD Kumaraswamy published the clip claiming it was proof of the BJP’s attempts to topple the JD(S)-Congress government in the state.