Ballari: Four Congress MLAs from the ore-rich district of Ballari are keeping everyone guessing about their next step in the current situation when more than a dozen ruling coalition MLAs have resigned from the Assembly.
Of the six Congress MLAs from Ballari, Anand Singh, Bheema Naik, B Nagendra and J.N. Ganesh had earlier figured in the list of Congress legislators likely to jump ship and help the BJP form the government. Hosapete MLA Singh resigned last week but his resignation is yet to be accepted. Mr Singh on Monday categorically stated that he will not withdraw his resignation until his two demands are met. He said the government must cancel the sale of 3,666 acres of land to JSW company in Sandur and carve out a Hosapete-centric Vijayanagar district from Ballari. “Chief Minister Kumaraswamy had called me over phone when he was in the US and I told him that I will not withdraw my resignation until my two demands fulfilled,” he said.
He also made it clear that he is not part of the team of disgruntled Congress-JD(S) legislators who resigned on Saturday.
Meanwhile, sources said Mr Singh has told BJP leaders that he won't join the saffron party in case it decides to induct Hagaribommanahalli MLA Bheema Naik and Kampli MLA J.N. Ganesh with whom he was involved in a drunken brawl at a resort in January. Mr Bheema Naik on his part said he will not quit the Congress.
“I have assured senior Congress leaders that I will stay loyal to the party,” he said. Mr Ganesh too said that he will not quit the Congress or resign from the assembly.
“He is concentrating on rebuilding his image after the resort brawl with Anand Singh. Besides, he feels he does not have much of a chance of getting the BJP ticket in the ensuing byelection,” said a close aide.
As for Mr Nagendra, he was earlier identified with Gokak rebel Congress MLA Ramesh Jarkiholi but is said to have changed his loyalties.
“Nagendra is miffed with Ramesh Jarkiholi, since he did not help Nagendra get the BJP's Lok Sabha ticket for his brother, instead he ensured the ticket for his relative Y Devendrappa. Besides, Nagendra see no political future for him as a BJP candidate in Muslim-dominated Ballari Rural assembly seat,” said sources.
Top sources said the BJP top brass has entrusted Ballari strongman B Sriramulu the task of getting these four legislators resign and join the BJP....