Karnataka Congress MLA Umesh Jadav resigns

Karnataka Congress MLA Umesh Jadav resigns

Umesh Jadhav, submitting his resignation to Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar at the latter's residence in Srinivaspura, Kolar on Monday

Rebel Congress MLA from Chincholi, Umesh Jadhav, early on Monday tendered his resignation to his Assembly membership, bringing down the party’s number to 79 in the Legislative Assembly.

Jadhav, who has decided to defect to the BJP, travelled all the way to Assembly Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar's residence in Srinivaspura taluk in Kolar district to tender his resignation. Jadhav’s resignation comes ahead of the launch of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Lok Sabha election campaign from Hyderabad Karnataka through his rally in Kalaburgi on March 6.

Jadhav will be facing off Congress veteran Mallikarjun Kharge in Kalaburgi in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. BJP was, in fact, scouting hard for a strong candidate to take on Kharge. 

Jadhav is among the four legislators, whose disqualification the Congress had sought for anti-party activities and repeated violation of whips. The Congress had on February 11 had submitted a petition to the Speaker to disqualify Jadhav, along with Ramesh Jarkiholi (Gokak), B Nagendra (Bellary) and Mahesh Kumathalli (Athani) on February 11.

Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) working president Eshwar Khandre, who was tasked with bringing Jadhav back into the party fold, declined to comment on the reasons behind his resignation. "He has destroyed his political future.

Till the last minute, we tried to convince him," Khandre told reporters. "The Congress party's disqualification petition is before the Speaker. I'm confident the Speaker will make the right decision." 

Asked if Jadhav's resignation was because he was upset with some Congress leaders, especially Mallikarjun Kharge, Khandre declined to answer.

Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president Dinesh Gundu Rao confirmed Jadhav's resignation. "He has sold himself. Whatever reasons he may cite are false. He can't say openly that he has taken money. We knew all along that he'll leave the party," Rao told reporters.

"Jadhav grew so much politically because of the Congress. The party gave him the ticket twice to become a legislator. The first time he was elected, he was made a parliamentary secretary. This time, he was chief of a corporation. He has stabbed the Congress," Rao added. 

Jadhav's resignation will not be a setback to the Congress in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, Rao asserted. "In fact, it's good if people like Jadhav go, instead of having them with us to only work against us," he said.

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