Rumours rife as 2 Karnataka Congress MLAs skip meet
Two Congress lawmakers skipped a meeting of their legislature party in Karnataka on Wednesday.
The two included Ramesh Jarkiholi, who had in April said he would quit the party. R Roshan Baig, the other absentee, has criticised the Congress’s state leadership over the party’s poor performance in Lok Sabha polls. Five others, who could not attend the meeting, had informed the party in advance. B Nagendra, and Mahesh Kumathahalli, who were believed to have been in the dissident camp, attended the meeting.
Former chief minister Siddaramaiah said Congress’s all 79 lawmakers are with the party. “There is no dissent in our ranks and we are like a rock,” he said.
Separately, Congress general secretary KC Venugopal on Wednesday met state Congress leaders and chief minister HD Kumaraswamy. Venugopal was rushed to Bengaluru as the Janata Dal (Secular) JD (S)-Congress coalition government in Karnataka sensed trouble after Bharatiya Janata Party swept the national polls and won 25 out of the 28 seats in the state.
A Congress minister said his party was considering re-inducting independent lawmaker Shankar into the cabinet. Shankar had withdrawn support to the coalition government in January after he was dropped from the cabinet in December.
The coalition has a support of 118 lawmakers. The BJP has 105 members in the state assembly.
Congress state chief Dinesh Gundu Rao said the Lok Sabha poll results were not a mandate against the state. “We will try and ensure our programme reaches people even better,” he said.