Siddaramaiah, the former Karnataka Chief Minister, today said that he “will petition before the Assembly Speaker to suspend the four dissenting Congress MLAs.” This statement shows that the infighting in the Congress has not been resolved. Earlier, on January 18, the Karnataka Congress had issued notice to the dissenting lawmakers. The leaders who didn’t attend the Congress meet are - Ramesh Jarkiholi - who was dropped as a minister in the recent Cabinet rejig, B Nagendra, Umesh Jadhav and Mahesh Kumatahalli.
Earlier, Siddaramaiah had alleged that the BJP was offering Rs 50 crore each to Congress MLAs as part of its bid to topple the JDS-Congress government in Karnataka, but asserted none of them would fall for it.
"They (BJP) are under some illusion of power. They are offering Rs 50 crore (to Congress MLAs). They huddled their 104 MLAs in a seven-star hotel in Haryana for a week,” Siddaramaiah had said.
At the height of political turmoil early last month after two MLAs withdrew support to the government and some Congress MLAs went incommunicado, Siddaramaiah had made a similar charge alleging that the BJP was trying to buy Congress MLAs by offering Rs 25-30 crore.
The lawmakers who have withdrawn their support are H Nagesh (Independent) and R Shankar (Karnataka Pragnyavanta Janata Paksha). The development comes amid reports of some Congress MLAs go missing.
In the 224-member Karnataka Assembly, the BJP has 104 members, Congress 80 (including Assembly Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar), Kumaraswamy’s JD (S) has 37, BSP, KPJP and Independent one each. BSP is supporting the coalition government.