Saradagi may move court to identify 'black sheep'

Congress leader Iqbal Ahmed Saradagi, who suffered defeat in the recent elections to the Legislative Council from the Assembly, is exploring legal possibilities to identify who violated the party whip and cross voted.

Saradagi is toying with the idea of moving the court, even as the five-member committee appointed by the party is inquiring into the matter. He told Deccan Herald on Wednesday that it was important to ascertain who cross-voted as it had cost the party one seat.

“I am exploring the legal possibilities. In fact, I want to request the party to initiate legal action. Since this is a party matter, it has to be ideally settled within the party. If the party fails to take action against those who cross-voted by expelling them, I will be forced to approach the court,” he said.

Saradagi, however, said he had faith in the committee.

The committee has so far held discussions with Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Siddaramaiah, election and counting agents, the four candidates, in-charge office bearers of KPCC, the CLP secretary and the chief whip. On Wednesday, deputy leader of the Opposition in the Assembly, T B Jayachandra, and KPCC president G Parameshwara were summoned.

The committee is also likely to speak to MLA Rudresh Gowda, whose vote was declared invalid. Sources said the committee was not suspecting the MLA (who was unwell that day) of any violation, but his version was being recorded as part of corroborating circumstantial evidence.

The committee, which is planning to hold discussions with AICC general secretaries, will submit its report next week. Fourth candidate M R Seetharam, who won the elections with 20 votes, is learnt to have told the committee that he had got votes from outside the party. The party has 71 MLAs, but it got 72 votes.

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