Four Independent legislators met the former External Affairs Minister and senior Congress leader S.M. Krishna at his residence on Thursday. They are said to have discussed their future plans with him.
Those who met Mr. Krishna are D. Sudhakar, P.M. Narendraswamy, Venkataramanappa and Shivaraj Thangadagi. All the four were Ministers in the B.S. Yeddyyurappa Cabinet. Mr. Narendraswamy, who represents Malavalli Assembly Constituency in Mandya district, took the lead.
Speaking to presspersons, Mr. Venkataramanappa described the meeting as a “courtesy” call.
He refused to comment on whether they planned to join the Congress.
However, Mr. Narendraswamy told The Hindu that they discussed the political situation in the State. “Gulihatti D. Shekar (another Independent MLA and former Minister) could not accompany us because of an engagement in his constituency. He may meet Mr. Krishna shortly,” he said.
When asked whether they would join the Congress, he admitted that they may do so. “We will take a unanimous decision on whether to join the Congress or not at an appropriate time,” he said.
Reacting to the development, Congress sources did not rule out the possibility of the legislators joining the party.
It is significant that the four Independent legislators and two others — Mr. Gulihatti and Varthur Prakash — were responsible for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) coming to power in the State.
However, after launching ‘Operation Kamala’ to woo legislators from Opposition parties, to gain the needed number for the stability of the government, they were dropped from the ministry. Besides, Speaker K.G. Bopaiah disqualified the five Independent MLAs, accusing them of indulging in anti-party activities. Though the Karnataka High Court upheld their disqualification, the Supreme Court reversed the order and their status as MLAs were restored.
While Mr. Varthur Prakash continued as Textile Minister in the Jagadish Shettar Cabinet, the others continued as members of the Assembly.