We were exploited, say Independents

Despite the court victory, they feel they are out on a limb

The Independents feel that the 10 "qualified" BJP MLAs acted in "great haste" by extending their support to Chief Minister Yeddyurappa, who they had refused to accept as their leader seven months ago.

Shivaraj Tangadagi (Kanakagiri), D Sudhakar (Hiriyur), P M Narendraswamy (Malavalli), Venkataramanappa (Pavagada) and Goolihatti D Shekar (Hosadurga) met here on Monday, obviously minus the BJP MLAs, who had been by their side in the last few months.

"Our stand is neutral - we are not taking any sides. The important thing is that we won the court case, and we got justice. It is, however, ironic that the glory of regaining our membership stands to be temporary with the ongoing developments," said Sudhakar.

He and his colleagues had been "exploited", Sudhakar said. "They made use of us when they wanted us, and later discarded us unceremoniously. The 10 BJP MLAs should have waited a little longer," added Sudhakar.

Would the ouster of the BJP government make them happy? "As an MLA, I wouldn't want that. There is a lot I can do in my constituency in the remaining two years. However as a citizen, I think it would be for the better. No other State has seen such rampant corruption that Karnataka has," he added.

"Who will understand the pain we have gone through all these months? I don't want to say anything about the BJP MLAs, but we Independents will stick together," Narendraswamy said.

Rebels give some anxious moments

The 10 BJP rebels, who returned to the partyfold after their disqualification order was quashed by the Supreme Court, gave some anxious moments to the party leadership on Monday.

The legislators arrived at the airport, along with other BJP MLAs, but did not leave for New Delhi on the first flight booked for them, party sources said. The party had booked tickets for the national capital to parade them before the President. The 10 MLAs did not take the second flight, in which another batch of legislators left, too. Finally, they boarded the last fight to New Delhi to join their counterparts.

Earlier in the day, the legislators visited Vidhana Soudha. The legislators had been barred entry into the State secretariat building after their disqualification in October last year.

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