Udayavni Special

No headway in placating Anand Singh, Ramesh Jarkiholi: Cong


PTI, Jul 5, 2019, 9:11 AM IST

Bengaluru: The Congress in Karnataka Thursday indicated it has not been able to make much headway in convincing two of its MLAs to withdraw their resignation but maintained there was no threat to the coalition government, even as it accused the BJP of trying to topple it.

Congress leaders, who met Speaker Ramesh Kumar on the resignation of its legislators, said they would seek an explanation from Vijayanagara MLA Anand Singh regarding his resignation as he has not communicated to the party about it.

However, the party has maintained that Gokak MLA Ramesh Jarkiholi’s resignation has not reached the Speaker yet.

“BJP’s attempts to destabilise the government has continued, there is no worry, government is stable. Just because one or two legislators resign, government wont fall,” Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara Thursday said.

Speaking to reporters, he said, he has not made any attempts to reach out to the MLAs who have resigned.

“They have already made their decision, once the decision is taken to an extent we can try to pacify, but once it is surpassed, it is their decision. So I have not contacted,” he added.

The deputy chief minister’s statement comes a day after Congress Legislature Party leader Siddaramaiah had exuded confidence that Singh may withdraw his resignation, and talks were on with him.

However, according to sources, Congress was waiting for Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy to return from the US to hold talks with Singh and other disgruntled party legislators, whom they fear may also resign.

Kumaraswamy over the last few days has spoken to several disgruntled Congress legislators including Singh from the US over phone, in an attempt to save his wobbly government, sources said.

Singh, who sent in his resignation to the Speaker on Monday, had said he decided to resign over various demands, including creation of a separate Vijayangara district and cancellation of the nod for sale of 3,667 acres of land to JSW Steel in mine-rich Ballari district.

However, he kept the doors open for a rethink, saying he would “wait for answers” (from the government to his demands) when asked if he would withdraw the resignation.

Meanwhile, speaking to reporters after meeting the Speaker, state Congress working president Eshwar Khandre said Singh has not communicated to the party about his resignation and they would seek an explanation from him.

“An official release from the Speakers office had recently stated that our legislator Anand Singh has resigned.

He has not sent any resignation to the party,” he said, noting that it was Congress that fielded him as candidate on the recommendation of local leaders and workers, and people made him victorious.

“As per his responsibility, he has not given any information to the party yet. So the party has asked him about his resignation..we will seek an explanation from him,” he added.

Confirming about his meeting with Congress leaders, Speaker Ramesh Kumar said “they asked about Anand Singh’s resignation, and I have said he has submitted his resignation.”

He also said Ramesh Jarkiholi has not contacted him yet, nor submitted his resignation.

“If he comes I will inform (to media).”

The Congress is keen to diffuse the situation quickly as any more resignations by disgruntled MLAs could trigger a number game in the assembly.

The coalition’s strength in the 224-member assembly stands at 118 (Congress-78, JD(S)-37, BSP-1 and Independents-2), besides the Speaker.

The BJP has 105 MLAs.

If the resignation of two MLAs is accepted, the combine’s strength will come down to 116 against half-way mark of 113.

According to minister D K Shivakumar, the Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister would hold meetings with MLAs district wise on July 9 and 10 to hear their issues.

Several disgruntled legislators, especially those of Congress, are miffed about issues related to their constituency and posting of officials among others, sources said, adding that the proposed meeting will be aimed at addressing these concerns and pacifying them.

Ministerial aspirants would be asked to wait for cabinet reshuffle later this year, they said.

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