Congress’ show-cause notice to rebels, BJP MLAs return
Former chief minister and Congress legislature party (CLP) chief Siddaramaiah issued notices to rebel MLAs Ramesh Jarkiholi and Mahesh Kumathahalli asking them to explain their absence from the CLP meeting called on Friday.Updated: Jan 19, 2019 22:54 IST
Congress legislators continued to stay at the Eagleton Golf Resort for a second day on Saturday and held a second meeting of its legislature party to discuss the way forward for the Lok Sabha, even as state Bharatiya Janata Party president BS Yeddyurappa called on his party’s MLAs to return to the state.
Early in the day, Yeddyurappa instructed his party’s MLAs, who were residing in resorts in the National Capital Region, to return, with other leaders claiming they had reports of the Congress-Janata Dal (secular) alliance government collapsing.
Former chief minister and Congress legislature party (CLP) chief Siddaramaiah issued notices to rebel MLAs Ramesh Jarkiholi and Mahesh Kumathahalli asking them to explain their absence from the CLP meeting called on Friday. The two were absent despite a warning that those who did not turn up would be construed as having voluntarily resigned from the party.
As many as four of the Congress’s 79 MLAs, excluding the Speaker, had not turned up for the meeting on Friday. MLAs Umesh Jadhav and B Nagendra, though, had informed the party of their inability to attend the meeting, which was held amid rumours that the four were set to resign and put the seven–month-old Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) alliance government under threat. The alliance partners have said this was part of the BJP’s plan to destabilise the government.
In his letter, Siddaramaiah said, the MLAs had been informed on Wednesday that they had to attend the CLP meeting. “Neither did you inform me, nor the CLP office. And looking at your absence it appears that you skipped the meeting on purpose,” Siddaramaiah said in the letter. “Not just that, for the past many days there have been news reports that you have met BJP leaders in Bengaluru, Delhi and Mumbai, which you have so far not refuted.”
“Additionally, you have met senior BJP leaders on multiple occasions. And it has been reported in the media that you have said that you will resign from the Congress. This, too, you have so far not refuted,” Siddaramaiah says in the letter. “Looking at this it appears that you are resigning from the membership of the Congress,” he adds.