The two members – N Thippanna and B R Gurudev – quit their seats thereby preventing the JD(S) from occupying the post of the Leader of Opposition. A miffed JD(S) put the blame on BJP accusing the party of renewing its ‘Operation Lotus’, a campaign of luring Opposition legislators.
It works out like this. The tenure of three nominated members Mallajamma, Prakash Rathod, Chandrashekar Kambar (all Congress) ended on Wednesday, reducing the party’s tally to 16. The JD(S) with 17 members was all set to become the principal Opposition party.
However, that was not to be. The resignations has reduced the party’s tally now to 15. As a result, Congress MLC Motamma, who was supposed to step down as the leader of Opposition on Thursday, will continue to hold the post.
In another blow to the JD(S), prominent minority leader Iqbal Ansari announced his decision to quit the party. Ansari said he was upset with the party’s decision to strip him of his position as the State working president.
BJP sources admitted that the party did play a role in embarrassing the JD(S). The sources added that the discontent of the two members with their parent party was used to strike at the JD(S). Gurudev had identified himself with the BJP for the last two years.
While Gurudev has been promised chairmanship of a plum board or corporation, Thippanna is likely to be nominated again to the Council, this time on a BJP ticket, the sources said.
Speaking to reporters, Thippanna said he took this step as he was upset with the behaviour of the party’s leaders H D Deve Gowda and H D Kumaraswamy.
“The party is confined to Deve Gowda’s family. They treat others like dogs. When I was the party’s state president, I was never consulted for any decision. I was upset when the party ditched the BJP after enjoying power for 20 months with the BJP support”, he said.
Further changes in the seat equation in the Upper House is expected to happen in June, when seven MLCs elected from the legislative Assembly constituency and two MLCs each from the graduates and teachers constituencies will retire.