The wait for the seven rebel Janata Dal (Secular) MLAs, who were suspended from the party a year ago, is over and they are all stage is set for them to join the Congress.
Zameer Ahmed Khan (Chamarajpet); N. Chaluvarayaswamy (Mandya); Akhanda Srinivasamurthy (Pulakeshinagar); H.C. Balakrishna (Magadi); Bhima Naik (Hagaribommanahalli); Ramesh Bandisiddegowda (Srirangapatna); and Iqbal Ansari (Gangavathi) are camping in New Delhi to meet Rahul Gandhi, All India Congress Committee (AICC) vice-president, to decide the date for joining the Congress.
Mr. Chaluvarayaswamy told The Hindu that they would meet Mr. Rahul Gandhi on Thursday officially. “As the AICC has given the green signal to KPCC for admitting all JD(S) rebel MLAs, we are meeting Mr. Gandhi tomorrow to take forward the process,” he said.
He said the day and venue of joining the Congress would be finalised in consultation with Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, KPCC president G. Parameshwara, and Energy Minister D.K. Shivakumar. “Meeting Rahul Gandhi is the last link in the process of joining Congress,” he said.
Mr. Zameer Ahmed Khan,-another rebel MLA camping in New Delhi said that, at least another eight JD(S) legislators were planning to quit the party and join the Congress, and they would make the announcement shortly.after rebel MLAs join the Congress, he said.
The JD(S) shut the doors on seven of the eight JD(S) MLAs in June 2016, when they cross-voted in favour of ruling party candidate in Rajya Sabha polls from Karnataka. Of the eight, K. Gopalaiah representing Mahalakshmi Layout Constituency, apologised before the party’s disciplinary action committee and remained in the party. Though Mr. Ramesh Bandisiddegowda also apologised, his case had not been considered by the core committee.
CM in Delhi
Mr. Siddaramaiah and Dr. Parameshwara flew to Delhi along with Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi to discuss Cabinet expansion and finalise the candidate for the August 31 Legislative Council byelection. Sources in the Chief Minister’s Secretariat said they would also seek approval for entrusting the Home portfolio — that has fallen vacant following the resignation of Dr. Parameshwara — to Minister for Forests B. Ramanath Rai.