Congress Legislature Party leader Siddaramaiah (holding mike) during the CLP meeting at Eagleton resort on Saturday. (Photo: Twitter/@INCKarnataka)
The Congress party has issued show cause notices to its four Karnataka MLAs seeking an explanation from them for not being present at the Legislature Party meeting. In the notices issued to the four MLAs, who are reportedly in the folds of the BJP, the party has asked why no action should be taken against them under the anti-defection law. Amid the poaching fears by the BJP, the Congress had on Friday called a Legislature Party meeting to test the loyalties of lawmakers amid fears of poaching by the Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
While all the MLAs were present at the CLP meeting, four Congress legislators - Ramesh Jarkiholi, who was dropped as a minister in the recent cabinet rejig, B Nagendra, Umesh Jadhav and Mahesh Kumatahalli didn’t turn up. The Congress party has been accusing the BJP of trying to topple the party’s coalition government with the JD(S) in the state.
In the notice issued to Ramesh Jarkiholi, Congress Legislature Party leader Siddaramaiah has sought an explanation about the media reports of him joining the BJP and meeting the saffron party leaders in Mumbai and Delhi.
“Your conduct suggests that you will voluntarily quit from the membership of the Indian National Congress. You have got elected as a legislator on Congress symbol and cannot quit as party member under the Constitution,” Siddaramaiah said asking as to why he didn’t issue any statement rejecting the media reports.
Ahead of the CLP meeting, the Congress party had warned all the party MLAs that their absence will lead to action according to the anti-defection law. The meeting was attended only by 75 MLAs and all of them were then shifted to a resort in the outskirts of the Bengaluru.
The BJP, however, said it has no such intentions and leveled counter allegations of poaching against the ruling coalition. Citing the same fear, the BJP had also sent its MLAs to a luxury resort in Gurugram, but they all returned to Bengaluru on Saturday.
“Our MLAs are returning to Bengaluru from Delhi. We will tour the state and analyse the situation of drought. We will not destabilise this govt at any cost. Congress and JDS need not worry," former Karnataka Chief Minister and senior BJP leader BS Yeddyurappa said.