Congress notice to 4 MLAs who skipped CLP meeting

Last Updated 20 January 2019, 09:16 IST

The Congress in Karnataka on Sunday issued notices to its four MLAs seeking an explanation from them for their absence at the Legislature Party meeting, asking why no action should be taken against them under the anti-defection law.

The notices were sent to Ramesh Jarkiholi, who was dropped as a minister in the recent cabinet rejig and is said to be extremely unhappy over it, B Nagendra, Umesh Jadhav and Mahesh Kumatahalli, Congress sources said.

Exposing fissures in the party, the four lawmakers had skipped the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) meet Friday, which was called as a show of strength against the BJP's alleged attempt to topple the party's coalition government with the JD(S) in the state.

The absence of the four lawmakers posed no imminent threat to the seven-month-old Congress-JD(S) government in the numbers game but suggested that all was not well within the Congress which is still wrestling with dissidence.

In the notice issued to Jarkiholi, while seeking a response from him for not attending the meeting, CLP leader Siddaramaiah has also sought an explanation about the media reports that he was joining the BJP and about his visit to Delhi and Mumbai to meet saffron party leaders.

Asking as to why he has not issued any statement so far rejecting these reports, the CLP leader said, "Your conduct suggests that you will voluntarily quit from the membership of the Indian National Congress. You have got elected as a legislator on Congress symbol and cannot quit as party member under the Constitution."

Ahead of the meet, Siddaramaiah had issued notices to all party MLAs, warning that their absence would be viewed "seriously" and action initiated according to the anti-defection law.

Soon after the CLP meet, which was attended by 76 MLAs, the Congress legislators were shifted to a resort on the city outskirts in a counter move to BJP's alleged toppling bid.

The BJP legislators, who were camping at a luxury hotel in Gurgaon, returned home last night.

(Published 20 January 2019, 08:57 IST)

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