Cong shifts MLAs to resort after 4 ‘rebels’ skip Karnataka CLP meet

Cong shifts MLAs to resort after 4 ‘rebels’ skip Karnataka CLP meet
Congress MLAs are seen seated in a luxury bus in Bengaluru on their way to a Eagleton resort. (ANI/Twitter)
BENGALURU, JAN 18 (AGENCIES) | Publish Date: 1/18/2019 12:20:12 PM IST

A panic-stricken Congress on Friday lodged all its Karnataka MLAs in a resort outside Bengaluru, soon after a party legislature party meeting in which four lawmakers failed to attend. 

According to Economic Times, the four legislators, all of them reported to have been in touch with the Opposition BJP, skipped the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) meeting, defying warnings that absentees would be disqualified. 

Ramesh Jarkiholi( Gokak), Mahesh Iranagaud Kumathalli( Athani), B Nagendra ( Ballari rural) and Dr Umesh Jadhav ( Chincholi) were the MLAs who did not turn up at the Vidhan Soudha. Dr Jadhav, however, sent a letter to CLP leader Siddaramaiah requesting his absence be excused, while Nagendra said he had a court hearing to attend. The Congress has now decided to seek explanation from the four absentee MLAs in writing before deciding the future course of action. KPCC President Dinesh Gundurao said in a tweet:”The CLP meeting condemned the anti democratic attempt to topple our govt. It’s a no holds barred onslaught being spearheaded by #ModiShah. With 100 MLA’s of BJP holed up in a 7-star resort in Gurugram,spending crores of rupees, it’s an open declaration of intent to destabilise us.” 

Chikkaballapur MLA Dr. Sudhakar and Hirekerur MLA BC Patil however made it. Gokak MLA Jarkiholi has been sulking for some time now, and became belligerent after he was dropped from the cabinet in the Dec 22 cabinet rejig. The four MLAs are said to have been in touch with BJP. 

Immediately after the CLP meeting the remaining 75 Congress MLAs were shifted to Eagleton Golf Resort on Mysuru Road owned by Congress strongman DK Shivakumar to keep them safe from “poaching bids” by the BJP. “Of the four MLAs, B Nagendra and Umesh Jadhav had informed us in advance about their absence due to circumstances. But the remaining two MLAs have not reached out to us,” Siddaramaiah said soon after the CLP meeting ended. 

Meanwhile, the BJP MLAs who have been shepherded in a luxurious resort in Gurugram are expected to return to Bengaluru on Saturday. BJP State leader and former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa on Friday asserted that the party had no role to play in ongoing developments in Karnataka. 

In the 224-member Assembly, BJP has 104 members, Congress-79, JDS 37, one each BSP, KPJP and Independent member, besides Speaker. BSP is supporting the government. Two Independents have announced withdrawal of their support to the government and are believed to be backing the BJP.

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