Ministers Yogeeshwara, Rajugouda may quit today

The Congress is yet to announce how many migrants from other parties it will accomodate. But there are speculations that Forest Minister C P Yogeshwara and Small Scale Industries Minister Rajugouda will resign from their posts and also give up the BJP membership on Thursday.

It is said that keeping the ‘winnability’ factor in mind, the party high command has orally told these two BJP ministers that they will be inducted into the Congress. However, neither the KPCC president G Parameshwara nor any of his party colleagues have made any announcement in this regard.

It is said Yogeeshwara and Rajugowda will meet Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar to submit their resignations as ministers in the morning. Later, they may meet Speaker K G Bopaiah to put in their papers as MLAs.  

When contacted by this paper, Yogeshwara said he planned to put in his papers on Thursday. However, he did not categorically say he will join the Congress, though he dropped sufficient hints that he will be the Congress candidate from Channapatna.

Yogeshwara, who is facing a probe by the CID and the Serious Fraud Investigation Office in the Mega City land scam, was elected to the Assembly on a Congress ticket in the 2008 elections. Later, as part of Operation Lotus, he quit the Congress and joined the BJP.
Now, he is all set to return to the Congress. Sources in the Congress said there is stiff resistance from a section of the party to allow the entry of tainted BJP MLAs.

However, some senior leaders in the party are supporting the BJP MLAs who are eager to join the Congress. JD(S) State president H D Kumaraswamy’s wife and MLA Anita Kumaraswamy is likely to contest from Channapatna. To face the JD(S) in this constituency, the Congress does not have a strong candidate. Hence, it is favouring the re-entry of Yogeeshwara, it is said.

The Congress may not hesitate to allow the entry of four Independent MLAs, it is said. Not less than six BJP MLAs are waiting for the green signal from the Congress to join the party. But the party is not in a hurry to rush through the decisions as there are many ticket aspirants in the party itself.

The BJP may lose some more MLAs in  the coming days. Belur Gopalakrishna, MLA from Sagar, on Wednesday told reporters that he had decided to quit the BJP as the party has ignored him and his Idiga community.

“There are four Cabinet berths vacant. Still, the party is not filling them with deserving candidates. Idigas are nearly 60 lakh in population. But the BJP did nothing for this community,” he said. Asked whether he would join the Congress, he did not offer a direct reply.  

Pratap Gouda Patil, BJP MLA from Maski, may also quit the party soon. Shankarlinge Gowda, BJP MLA from Chamaraja constituency of Mysore, has already identified himself with the JD(S). He may soon resign as an MLA.

Water Resources Minister Basavaraj Bommai and Suresh Gowda, BJP MLA from Tumkur Rural, have spiked rumours that they would join the Congress. While Bommai said that he would be with the BJP, Gowda said he had never sought a Congress ticket. At present, the strength of the BJP is 105. Independent MLA Varthur Prakash is a minister. The resignations of two BJP MLAs Vittal Katakadonda and D S Suresh are pending with the Speaker. The Congress has 71 members, while the JD(S) has 25.

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