Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy held talks with disgruntled Congress legislators Ramesh Jarkiholi, B Nagendra and Mahesh Kumathalli on Wednesday, amid speculation that they might resign following in Umesh Jadhav’s footsteps.
Jarkiholi, Nagendra and Kumathalli have been identified as disgruntled and are believed to have been in touch with the BJP.
Turf war with DKS
Jarkiholi is said to be engaged in a turf war with Water Resources Minister D K Shivakumar, Nagendra is sulking over not being made a minister, while Kumathalli is a Jarkiholi acolyte.
Apparently, Kumaraswamy urged them not to resign. But speaking to reporters, Kumaraswamy said he did not discuss politics.
“I came here for breakfast. I also discussed constituency and district works,” he said.
The CM, however, admitted that they were disgruntled. “It’s true there are local problems. That’s for the Congress to resolve. My responsibility is to take everyone into confidence,” he said.
Jarkiholi said problems with the Congress remained.
“But we haven’t reached the stage of quitting. Some things have happened and we’ve expressed our problems to the party high command. We’ve discussed a lot of things with Kumaraswamy, but I can’t reveal much. Let’s see how things go,” he said. Asked who was responsible for his disgruntlement, he said, “I’m the reason.”
Jarkiholi, Jadhav, Nagendra and Kumathalli are facing the prospect of disqualification under the anti-defection law based on a petition moved by Congress Legislature Party leader Siddaramaiah on the ground that the four had indulged in anti-party activities. The petition is before Assembly Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar.
The Congress has questioned as to how Jadhav’s resignation can be accepted when the petition seeking his disqualification was pending.