Karnataka drama: Missing Congress MLA Ramesh Jarkiholi surfaces in Bengaluru

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New Delhi | Published: February 13, 2019 11:00:53 AM

The four Congress MLAs were issued show cause notice by Congress Legislative Party chief K Siddaramaiah after they skipped the CLP meetings in January and February, as well as the budget session this month. In January, however, both Ramesh Jarkiholi and Mahesh Kumathahalli replied to the notice and reiterated their loyalty to the party in a letter to Siddaramaiah.

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Karnataka Congress MLA Ramesh Jarkiholi arrived in Bengaluru last night. He had been incommunicado for the past few days.

One of the four missing MLAs of Karnataka, Ramesh Jarkiholi, was spotted in Bengaluru on Tuesday night, reported news agency ANI. The Congress MLA had been incommunicado for the last few days along with three other MLAs – B Nagendra, Mahesh Kumathalli, and Umesh Jadhav, triggering a crisis for the ruling coalition led by Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy.

The four MLAs were issued show cause notice by Congress Legislative Party chief K Siddaramaiah after they skipped the CLP meetings in January and February, as well as the budget session this month. In January, however, both Ramesh Jarkiholi and Mahesh Kumathahalli replied to the notice and reiterated their loyalty to the party in a letter to Siddaramaiah.

The CLP meeting was held as a show of Congress’s strength amid rumours that some Congress legislators were about to quit the party to topple the coalition government of the Janata Dal (Secular) and the Congress; the remaining 76 legislators were kept at a resort.

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Congress MLA J N Ganesh is untraceable ever since he reportedly assaulted fellow party person Anand Singh during a fight at the same resort. Jarkiholi is said to be upset after being dropped from the cabinet in the ministry rejig on December 22. Reports are emerging that Congress MLA Dr Umesh Jadhav might quit the Congress on the other hand. Jadav reportedly has a tiff with Kalaburagi MP Mallikarjun Kharge, and now wants to contest him in the LS polls.

But as Congress MLA Ramesh Jarkiholi surfaced, he along with Mahesh Kumathalli are expected to join Congress within a few days, as they have no choice after the BJP reportedly turned its back on them.

A team of Congress leaders that also included AICC general secretary K C Venugopal had managed to contact Jarkiholi a few days ago and had asked him to return to the party fold. However, Jarkiholi did not respond to Venugopal.

Last week, the state Congress leadership had filed a petition before the legislative assembly speaker, asking for disqualification of four Congress rebel MLAs, including both Jarkiholi and Kumathalli. However, that is unlikely now.

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