New Delhi: Two Congress MLAs resigned from the Karnataka assembly, on Monday, dealing a fresh blow to the already tottering Janata Dal (Secular)-Congress coalition government in the state. Vijaynagar Congress MLA Anand Singh and Gokak Congress MLA Ramesh Jarkiholi submitted their resignation letters to the assembly speaker.
Talking to reporters, Singh confirmed that he has resigned. However, he didn’t give any reason behind taking the step. Soon after Singh’s resignation, Jarkiholi too tendered his resignation.
It is widely speculated that Singh would join the Bharatiya Janata Party. Recently, in a news conference, he expressed his displeasure over the sale of 3,667 acres of land to JSW Steel in Bellary. During the interaction with reporters, he had hinted that he might resign.
Anand Singh, a mining baron, had quit the BJP ahead of last year’s assembly election and joined the Congress.
Hours after Singh resigned, rebel Congress MLA from Gokak, Ramesh Jarkiholi, also resigned. Jarkiholi, who comes from the valmiki community, had been disgruntled for with the party leadership for some time now. He was dropped as a cabinet minister last year. However, he was livid the way the Siddaramaiah-led Congress handled the turf war between him and his brother Satish Jarkiholi, in September last year.
Ramesh is also believed to be the key Congress MLA who has been trying to engineer the toppling of the JD(S)-Congress government while working at the behest of the BS Yeddyurappa-led BJP in the state. In February this year, the Congress wrote to the assembly speaker to seek Ramesh’s disqualification under the anti-defection law for the “anti-party activities”.
Meanwhile, chief minister HD Kumaraswamy, who is on a personal visit to the United States, tweeted on this development and said the BJP is “daydreaming” to “destabilize” his government.
On Monday’s development, BS Yeddyurappa hinted that his party might be interested to stake claim in forming the government if the JD(S)-Congress alliance collapses. According to media reports, Yeddyuparra said, “We don’t want to destabilise the government ... If the government falls on own its own, we will explore the possibilities of forming the new government but there is no question of fresh elections.”