The political polarisation in Karnataka is causing sleepless nights to the leaders of Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) as their elected assembly members are resigning from assembly membership and joining the BJP.
Though the ruling BJP is successful in poaching four rival MLAs so far rumours are thick in air that the list of rival MLAs joining the BJP is endless. Shri Asnotikar Anand Vasant of the Congress, elected from Karwar constituency, Uttara Kannada district, resigned his assembly membership and joined the BJP along with JD(S) MLAs, former Minister for Social Welfare Shri Balachandra Jarkhiholi (Arabhavi constituency, Belgaum district) and Shri K. Shivanagouda Naik (Deodurga constituency, Raichur district). They announced on July 5 that they would be contesting the byelections necessitated by their resignations on BJP tickets. The fourth wicket was the Congress MLA Shri J. Narasimhaswamy (Doddaballapur constituency, Bangalore Rural district) who resigned on july 6. Justifying his move, Narasimhaswamy, son of former Union Minister Shri R.L. Jalappa, said, ?I had to take the decision keeping in mind the development of my constituency.?
Terming the BJP'spoaching of opposition MLAs as the murder of democracy, Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Mallikarjun Kharge, threatened to launch an agitation against the Congress MLAs who defected to the BJP. Perturbed by desertions of party MLAs, former minister and JD(S) leader H.D. Revanna urged the Centre to order a high-level inquiry into the alleged ?poaching of legislators through blackmailing and luring with incentives?.
State BJP president D.V. Sadananda Gowda said the party'sdoors were open to those accepting its policies and principles. More opposition MLAs are likely to join the BJP, he said. Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa said even if the party'snumerical strength grows in the assembly, party would not ignore the six Independents who have supported the BJP to come to power. 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.
Meanwhile, another Congress MLA and cine star Shri Jaggesh from Turuvekere Assembly constituency of Tumkur district, resigned his seat and joined the BJP. According to reports Shri Asnotikar Anand Vasant, Shri Balachandra Jarkhiholi and Shri K. Shivanagouda Naik are now the ministers with cabinet rank while Shri J. Narasimhaswamy is the chairman of a Board. Shri Jaggesh has also reportedly been tipped to be the chairman of a Board.
With Shri Jaggesh joining the BJP and six Independents extending support, BJP increased its seats to 121 from 110. Congress minimised its total strength to 77 from 80. JD (S) strength reduced to 26 from 28.