Karnataka Congress leader and former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Friday said the party would take action against four rebel legislators under the anti-defection law after they ignored a whip directing them to be present in the Assembly during the Budget session and did not attend a party legislature meeting, PTI reported. Siddaramaiah is the leader of the Congress Legislature Party.
Siddaramaiah said he would meet Speaker Ramesh Kumar and urge him to take action against Ramesh Jarkiholi, Umesh Jadhav, Mahesh Kumathali and B Nagendra. The four are reportedly in touch with the Bharatiya Janata Party.
Apart from these four MLAs, legislator JN Ganesh, who was suspended from the party last month after he allegedly assaulted fellow party MLA Anand Singh during a brawl at a resort, was also absent at the meeting. MLAs Roshan Baig and BC Patil, who also did not attend the meeting, had taken prior permission, Siddaramaiah added.
Siddaramaiah said the four legislators had been given sufficient opportunity after the January 18 Congress Legislature Party meeting, which they had skipped. The meeting had been called as a show of strength against the BJP’s alleged attempt to topple the Congress-JD(S) coalition government.
This comes amid political turmoil in the state. Earlier in the day, Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy released two audio clips, accusing BJP state President BS Yeddyurappa of trying to poach a Janata Dal (Secular) MLA by offering bribes. Yeddyurappa called the audio clip “fake and baseless”.
On Thursday, the Karnataka Assembly was adjourned for the second straight day after BJP legislators disrupted proceedings, claiming that the coalition government of Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) lacks majority. The BJP has demanded Kumaraswamy’s resignation.