Anand Singh, the Karnataka Congress MLA representing Vijayanagara constituency in Ballari district, tendered his resignation from the Legislative Assembly on Monday.
Mr. Singh, who quit the BJP on the eve of the 2018 Assembly election in the State, has sought an appointment with Governor Vajubhai Vala.
A three-time MLA from the Vijayanagar constituency, he is close to the BJP leaders.
With this, the Congress’ strength in the Assembly comes down to 78, including the Speaker.
Mr. Singh served as the Tourism Minister in the BJP government during 2008-13. He had opposed the H.D. Kumaraswamy government’s decision to sell 3,667 acres to the JSW Steel Plant in Sandur taluk in Ballari district.
Attacked by MLA
A few months ago, Mr. Singh was attacked by Congress MLA J.N. Ganesh during a brawl at Eagleton Resort in Bidadi on the outskirts of Bengaluru and was admitted to the hospital. The incident took place when the Congress had shifted its flock to the resort fearing poaching by the Opposition BJP.
Mr. Kumarawamy expanded the State Cabinet last month since it was facing instability after former Minister and Congress MLA Ramesh Jarkiholi threatened to quit the party.
The BJP, which is short of eight MLAs to form the government, has been making attempts to woo Congress legislators. The BJP has 105 members in the 224 elected members of the House. The magic figure to form the government is 113.
Mr. Singh is identified with a group led by Mr. Jarkiholi, who is allegedly making efforts to destabilise the JD(S)-Congress coalition government after he was dropped from the Cabinet in December 2018.
It is claimed that a group of Congress MLAs plan to resign from the Assembly to enable the BJP to stake a claim to form the government.
The Congress suffered a setback in March when Umesh Jadhav quit the party and contested the Lok Sabha election on BJP ticket from Kalaburagi constituency and defeated Congress veteran Mallikarjun Kharge.
Later in the by-poll to the Chincholi Assembly constituency, Mr. Umesh Jadhav’s son Avinash Jadhav contested on BJP ticket and won.