Bengaluru: The seven suspended Janata Dal (Secular) legislators, who met All India Congress Committee vice-president Rahul Gandhi in New Delhi, claimed on their return to the city on Thursday that they had been promised tickets by the Congress to contest the 2018 Assembly polls in the state.
One of the suspended MLAs, Zameer Ahmed Khan, said Mr Gandhi had invited them to join the Congress party and promised to field them in the coming polls. “Mr Gandhi spoke to every legislator and and wanted know why we were quitting the JD(S). The meeting was held in the presence of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, KPCC president, Dr G Parameshwar and Energy Minister D K Shivakumar,” he told Deccan Chronicle.
Mr Khan , however, explained that all seven legislators were not able to join the Congress immediately due to “technical reasons” but would join it at a mega convention planned in Bengaluru in December in the presence of Congress president, Sonia Gandhi and Mr Rahul Gandhi.
“We are not setting any pre-conditions to join the Congress and will work for its victory in the coming elections,” he added. Besides Mr Khan, the other Janata Dal (Secular) MLAs joining the Congress are H C Balakrishna, Ramesh Bandisiddegowda, Iqbal Ansari, N Chaluvarayaswamy, Bhima Naik and Akhanda Srinivasamurthy.
Another JD(S) rebel, MLA Gopalaiah has returned to the party fold after apologising to its supremo, H D Deve Gowda and state president, H.D. Kumaraswamy.
The eight MLAs were suspended for violating the party whip and voting for the Congress candidate in the biennial elections to Rajya Sabha from Karnataka last year and helping him defeat Mr B M Farook of the JD (S). The legislators, who landed in Delhi Wednesday morning, first met Mr Ahmed Patel, a close confidante of Ms Sonia Gandhi and spoke of their willingness to join the Congress, according to sources.
They have decided to wait till December to join the Congress party reportedly because they fear losing their seats in the legislature should the Election Commission decide a hold a bypoll to them following their resignation from the Janata Dal (Secular)....