Show up or face anti-defection law, Cong warns MLAs

Show up or face anti-defection law, Cong warns MLAs

The Congress has issued a final warning to its disgruntled legislators to come back to the party fold by attending the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) meeting scheduled to be held on Friday, threatening them with the anti-defection law otherwise.

Addressing the party’s general body meeting, Siddaramaiah is said to have given a final call to Ramesh Jarkiholi (Gokak), Umesh Jadhav (Chincholi), Mahesh Kumatahalli (Athani) and B Nagendra (Ballari), who have been incommunicado for several weeks, to show themselves before the leadership.

“Already a few legislators have become prey to the BJP’s offers. But it’s not too late for a change of heart,” Siddaramaiah said, according to sources.

“Otherwise, I will move a petition before the Speaker seeking disqualification of such legislators,” he said. The BJP, he claimed, has tried to lure 25-30 MLAs with offers. “A JD(S) MLA too was offered money on Tuesday, but he refused. Another Congress MLA had Rs 5 crore sent over as an invitation to hold talks,” sources said quoting Siddaramaiah.

Speaking to reporters later, Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president Dinesh Gundu Rao said the party will be forced to invoke anti-defection law against legislators who display indiscipline. “The CLP meet on Friday will be important and attendance is must. It’ll be inevitable for us to act against those who are absent without clear reason,” he said.

Top leaders tried to drive home the message to the party cadre that they will have to accept whatever seat-sharing agreement is decided by the Congress-JD(S) combine for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. “Whatever your demands are, you’ll have to accept what both the parties ultimately decide, because there’ll be an alliance for the Lok Sabha polls,” Rao said.

The party also finalised its Jan Sampark campaign that will be launched on February 15. The month-long campaign will see Congress workers go door-to-door and distribute booklets highlighting “failures and lies” of the Narendra Modi administration, Rao said.