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Three legislators quit Assembly, join BJP

Sudden move: (From left) Anand Asnotikar, K. Shivannagouda Naik, BJP State unit president D.V. Sadananda Gowda, Minister for Tourism B. Sriramulu and Balachandra Jarkiholi at the BJP office in Bangalore on Saturday.

Sudden move: (From left) Anand Asnotikar, K. Shivannagouda Naik, BJP State unit president D.V. Sadananda Gowda, Minister for Tourism B. Sriramulu and Balachandra Jarkiholi at the BJP office in Bangalore on Saturday.   | Photo Credit: — Photo: Bhagya Prakash K.

S. Rajendran

Two of them are from JD(S), one is from Congress



Congress and JD(S) together now have 105 MLAs

BJP, with independents, has 116 Assembly seats



Bangalore: In what can be described as a major setback to the Janata Dal (Secular) and the Congress, two MLAs of the Janata Dal (S) and one MLA of the Congress have resigned their membership of the Legislative Assembly.

The MLAs are the former Minister for Social Welfare Balachandra Jarkiholi who represented Arabhavi constituency and K. Shivannagouda Naik who represented Deodurg constituency, both of the Janata Dal (S). Anand Asnotikar of the Congress, who represented Karwar constituency, is the third.

The three subsequently joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the presence of the party’s State unit president D.V. Sadananda Gowda and other senior leaders. These political developments have taken place in the absence of Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa who has been away from Bangalore for the past two days in connection with the inauguration of the Circuit Benches in Dharwad and Gulbarga.

The three MLAs even took their respective party leadership by surprise with the former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy and Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president M. Mallikarjun Kharge being unaware of the developments until informed by the media.

The Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, Jagadish Shettar, told The Hindu that the resignation letters of the three MLAs had been submitted in the prescribed format and they had since been accepted. It was only a matter of time before the Election Commission was informed and byelections to these three constituencies were notified, he added.

The Congress and the Janata Dal(S) have lost out to the BJP with the exit of these MLAs. In the 225-member Assembly (including the nominated MLA), the Congress and the Janata Dal (S) enjoyed a total strength of 108. But now it has been reduced to 105, while the strength of the BJP is 116, including the six independents. The BJP had assigned portfolios to the Ministers including the five independents who were inducted into the Cabinet only after the Government sailed through the motion of confidence.

Reacting to the developments, Mr. Gowda said, “They are joining the BJP impressed by our Government’s commitment to development programmes and programmes for the welfare of the people. They were disillusioned with their parties particularly due to the recent incident of their respective party leadership not joining the all-party delegation to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and other Union Ministers.”

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