Kalaburagi/Bengaluru: In what could be a major setback to the Congress-JD (S) coalition, Dr Umesh Jadhav, one of the four Congress legislators who turned rebel three months ago quit the Assembly and the party on Monday, and could well take on veteran Congress leader M Mallikarjun Kharge in forthcoming Lok Sabha polls in the critical Hyderabad-Karnataka region where the BJP has been traditionally strong.
Dr Jadhav is likely to join the BJP at a rally scheduled to be addressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Kalaburagi on Wednesday subject to acceptance of his resignation letter by Speaker K.R. Ramesh Kumar. On Monday, Dr Jadhav drove to Kolar to hand over his brief resignation letter to Mr Ramesh Kumar and appeared unperturbed about the plea for disqualification that was submitted by leader of Congress legislature party (CLP), Siddaramaiah, against him and three others- former minister Ramesh Jarkiholi, Mahesh Kumathahali and B Nagendra.
Dr Jadhav told DC he saw no reason why Mr Kumar should reject his resignation though he did not list any reason for his decision to quit.
When his attention was drawn to Mr Siddaramaiah’s letter seeking disqualification of four MLAs, including himself, Dr Jadhav replied: “We have given the reply, and the question of our disqualification does not arise.”
Meanwhile, Mr Ramesh Kumar told the media he would take a decision on Dr Umesh Jadhav’s resignation letter in two days as per the rule book.
In his home turf, Kalaburagi, Mr Kharge against whom Dr Jadhav could be pitted, took on PM Modi on the eve of the leader's visit. “Let him come and speak. I will give a reply the next day (of his visit). But the people of Kalaburagi as well as the region are aware of my contributions. I played a big role in amendment of Article 371 (J). When none asked for a new rail, I sanctioned 27 trains for the state, besides commencing many railway projects,” he said after inaugurating the Kona Hipparga-Saraddagi(B) Bridge across the Bhima, built to shrink the distance between Kalaburagi and Vijayapura.
Leaders of BJP are pinning hopes on Dr Jadhav of Lambani community (ST) with a significant presence in Kalaburagi district, to end the reign of Mr Kharge....