BENGALURU: A Congress legislator in Karnataka has reportedly resigned from the party. Though there is no confirmation from the Congress, Anand Singh has said that he has resigned from the party and has gone to meet the Governor. It is being speculated that more Congress legislators may follow, in what would be just the latest chapter in trouble for the ruling Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) coalition in Karnataka.
Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy is currently in the United States on a private visit.
The state assembly Speaker said he was not aware of any such resignation. “Nobody has contacted or met me. I have got nothing to do with political developments and I will accept resignations even if 20 members resign. I am not aware of any such resignation. I haven’t met any leader, not even Anand Singh,” Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar said.
The BJP in Karnataka is keeping a close watch. “Even I have heard about his (Anand Singh’s) resignation through media. We don’t want to destabilise the government… If the government falls on own its own, we will explore the possibilities of forming the new government but there is no question of fresh elections,” Karnataka BJP chief and former chief minister BS Yeddyurappa said.
Anand Singh is the legislator from Vijayanagar who was hospitalised earlier this year after he was allegedly thrashed, abused and threatened by another legislator during their stay at a resort on the outskirts of Bengaluru where Congress legislators had been taken for safe-keeping.
It was said that Mr Singh had been involved in dissident activity but that he was convinced to stay with the party at that time.
The Congress has been fighting dissidence since the beginning of the year, with several Congress legislators openly critical of the party and staying away from legislature party meets that had been called.
One of the leaders, Umesh Jadhav, quit the Congress ahead of the Lok Sabha election and won the Kalaburagi seat for the BJP, defeating Congress veteran Mallikarjun Kharge. Another senior Congress legislator, Roshan Baig, was suspended from the party last month for his open and strong criticism of senior party colleagues.
Two independents were taken into the cabinet last month in a bid to give some sense of stability to the coalition.
The dismal performance of the Congress and the JD(S) has raised fears of a potential revival of what is referred to as “Operation Lotus”.
The term was first used in 2008, when the BJP was accused of inciting several opposition legislators to defect to ensure the stability of its government headed by BS Yeddyurappa. The BJP has said that it would not take any active steps to bring down the coalition government.