Yogeshwar, Narasimha Nayak are set to join Congress

The Bharatiya Janata Party government is hanging by a thread just a few months ahead of the Assembly polls as two of its Ministers, C.P. Yogeshwar and Narasimha Nayak (Raju Gowda), on Thursday resigned from the Ministry. They are also set to quit their Assembly seats on Friday and are set to join the Congress.

If their resignations are accepted by the Speaker on Friday, the strength of the BJP in the 208-member Assembly will be reduced to 106, including the Speaker, a nominated member and an Independent who is part of the Ministry.

The BJP government will lose its majority if four more MLAs quit. While resignations by two MLAs, Vittal Katakdonda and Tarikere Suresh, are pending with the Speaker, speculation is rife that two or three more MLAs who are keen on joining the Congress and the Janata Dal (Secular) are waiting for clearance from those parties to quit their Assembly seats.

Mr. Yogeshwar (Channapatna) and Mr. Nayak (Shorapur) met Governor H.R. Bhardwaj before submitting their resignations to Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar. Mr. Yogeshwar termed this as a “courtesy call”.

Both these leaders are said to have decided to join the Congress and contest the next Assembly elections. Though they wanted to quit their Assembly seats only after declaration of the Assembly elections, the announcement of elections to urban local bodies made them advance their decision. “Since the ULB polls are like the semi-finals ahead of the Assembly elections, they have to get ticket for their followers in their constituencies to contest the ULB polls. Hence they did not have any option but to the quit the BJP now,” sources close to them said.

However, Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president G. Parameshwara reiterated that the Congress high command was yet to give clearance for admitting them to the party.

Responding to this, Mr. Nayak said, “We have been talking to them for a long time and the clearance is almost through.”

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