Three party hoppers on pilgrimage in Andhra, TN

Defectors stay away from electorate, constituencies

Three party hoppers on  pilgrimage in Andhra, TN

M C Ashwath, (formerly with JD-S), ex-Congressmen S V Ramachandra and
M Narayanaswamy, who all resigned as legislators for the reasons best known to them, have chosen to stay away from their constituencies after deserting their parties. All are hopping to temples not only in Karnataka but also in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.

Across borders

Narayanaswamy, who resigned as Bangarpet legislator said he had been on the move since he put in his papers on October 20. The first place he visited along with his family members was Tirupati. From there he went to Kanchi, Thiruttani and Tanjavur.

His pilgrimage, if it can be called so, does not end there. He will return to Karnataka only after visiting Chidambaram.

Ramachandra of Jagalur, left the State with his family members soon after resigning as MLA. The government beefed up security at his houses in Davangere and Jagalur.
Congress workers took out a procession of his effigy as a mark of their resentment. It is said he went to religious places in Tamil Nadu and returned to Karnataka. But so far he has not made up his mind to visit his constituency.

Vanishing act

Ashwath, the first MLA to resign during the present political crisis, has remained incommunicado in the last 15 days. He told media that he had been visiting temples in Tamil Nadu. But his maid servant at his residence in Vijaynagar in Bangalore has no clue on his whereabouts. He has not even turned up at his house. No one stays at home except his school-going children - Uday and Darshan. He avoided visiting Channapatna, where he has a house.

Ex-MLA Narayanaswamy is reachable on his cellphone. He said he would return to his constituency only after completing his pilgrimage. He has plans to hold a press conference after his return to Bangalore to share the reasons for his decision with the public.

Contrast

The BJP launched Operation Lotus to strengthen its government’s position. Since it came to power in 2008, the BJP made nine legislators to resign necessitating bypolls.
Interestingly, none of them remained incommunicado. They chose to defend their action in public and contested the bypolls. Of the nine constituencies which went to the polls following Operation Lotus, the BJP won in five.

In contrast, the three legislators who resigned to safeguard the BJP from losing power, have preferred to keep themselves away from the public, obviously lacking confidence to defend their action. Their vanishing act lends credence to the suspicion that their loyalty has been traded - either for money or plum political postings.

Wrath of workers

Fear of attack by angry party workers is also one of the reasons for these former legislators to keep off from their constituencies.

As soon as Ashwath remained incommunicado, JD(S) workers gathered in front of his residence in Channapatna in huge numbers and staged a protest. Party leaders issued statements, instigating the workers against the defected MLA.

Similarly, Ramachandra faced strong protest by Congress workers in Davangere. Soon after his resignation was accepted, party workers protested in front of his house. The frightened family members left the place in dark.

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