One of the four rebel ministers of Karnataka Congress, Umesh Jadhav from Chincholi constituency, resigned from his post on Monday. Jadhav produced his resignation letter at Karnataka Assembly speaker KR Ramesh Kumar's residence in Kolar.
The two-time legislator is expected to join the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). His resignation has caused a major uproar in the coalition government as the house strength has been reduced to 223 and the Congress number has been brought down to 79.
Although the dates are not confirmed, speculations are that he would join BJP on March 6 in Kalaburagi (Gulbarga), where Prime Minister Narendra Modi will conduct his Lok Sabha elections rally. According to BJP, Jadhav will be their candidate in Kalaburagi against Congress veteran Mallikarjun Kharge.
With Jadhav's resignation, BJP is in a confident state as they were looking for a strong opponent to stand against Kharge in Kalaburagi.
It is alleged that Jadhav was upset with Congress leaders, especially Kharge, as he was denied a cabinet position while Kharge's son Priyank was made a cabinet minister in the Congress-JD(S) coalition government.
Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president Dinesh Gundu Rao has confirmed Jadhav's resignation. Rao said that he has sold himself and is leaving the party for his selfish motives and the party had an idea that will soon resign.
"Jadhav's political career grew because of Congress. The party gave him the ticket twice to become an MLA. The first time he was elected, he was made a parliamentary secretary. This time, he was chief of a corporation. He has stabbed the Congress," Rao told the media.
Former minister Baburao Chauhan has also expressed his disappointment over Jadhav's resignation and possible induction into the BJP. He is reportedly to take a further course against him after March 6.
Former Karnataka CM and Congress chief Siddaramaiah is holding discussions with Congress state in-charge KC Venugopal over the disgruntled MLAs resignation in the coordination committee meeting.
With the operation Lotus in force, the coalition government in Karnataka has accused the BJP of poaching their legislators into the saffron base. Senior BJP leader K Eshwarappa told the media that, "In Karnataka, many Congress MLAs are very much unhappy with the Congress leadership". This points out to more poaching from the BJP side which can severely affect the Congress-JD(S) alliance in the state.