Rebels slam Siddaramaiah, stay firm on resignation

Congress leaders stage a demonstration in frong of the Gandhi statue at Vidhana Soudha, accurding the BJP of attempting to destabilise the government, in Bengaluru on Tuesday. DH Photo

Rebel Congress and JD(S) MLAs, who were camping in Mumbai, on Tuesday said they were firm on their decision to resign and claimed that none of them has any intention to quit their parties.

“We have not indulged in any anti-party activities. We have resigned as MLAs as we are upset with the coalition government. We are still in our parties. Hence, there is no question of invoking anti-defection law against us,” Congress MLA from KR Puram Assembly constituency, Byrati Basavaraj, told reporters in Mumbai.

The rebel MLA’s comments came soon after the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) decided to petition Assembly Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar seeking their disqualification.

Yeshwanthpura MLA S T Somashekar claimed that the MLAs were not expecting anything and that each one of them had their own problems for tendering resignation. “We are loyal to the Congress and we will not be joining the BJP,” he stated, adding that there was no question of them withdrawing the resignation.

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Siddu under attack

Somashekar and Basavaraj took a dig at CLP leader Siddaramaiah for threatening disqualification.

“We have shown him respect so far. Why did he (Siddaramaiah) quit the JD(S) and joined the Congress in 2006? Wasn’t it anti-party activity?... It is not true that we have backstabbed him,” Basavaraj said. Both the MLAs were once close confidants of Siddaramaiah.

Basavaraj said that he had been a loyal Congress worker for over 30 years.

“I have slogged for the party as a booth worker much before Siddaramaiah joined the party. We have nothing against the party. The government has ignored development. It was brought to Siddaramaiah’s notice, but he did not bother,” he stated.

JD(S) MLA from KR Pet, Narayana Gowda, said a majority of the MLAs were fed up with the coalition government and reiterated that he was firm on quitting as the legislator.

All the rebel MLAs claimed that they were staying at a star hotel in Mumbai spending from their pockets and that they were not at the mercy of any party, including the BJP. About 10 rebel MLAs, of both the Congress and the JD(S), are staying in Mumbai since last Saturday.

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