3 Karnataka opposition legislators quit

July 5th, 2008 - 11:03 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Bharatiya Janata Party

Bangalore, July 5 (IANS) Three legislators - one from the Congress and two from the Janata Dal-Secular - Saturday quit the Karnataka assembly and joined the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) that is trying to reduce its dependence on independents for survival. Anand Asnotikar of the Congress, Balachandra Jarkhiholi and Shivanagowda Naik of the JD-S submitted the resignations to Speaker Jagadish Shettar and announced they will contest the by-elections necessitated by their resignations on BJP tickets.

The BJP government, the party’s first in Karnataka and also in south India, is backed by six independents, five of whom are cabinet ministers in the B.S. Yeddyurappa-led ministry.

The BJP has only 110 members in the 225-member assembly and has been wooing opposition legislators to strengthen its position ever since it came to power May 30.

The Congress won 80 seats and JD-S 28 in the polls.

Iron-ore mining barons and cabinet ministers G. Janardhana Reddy and his brother G. Karunakara Reddy played a major role in netting the three legislators. They had brought around the six independents in May which helped BJP to form the government.

The Reddy brothers’ close associate and Health and Family Welfare Minister B. Sriramulu, took the three to the speaker and held a press conference later to announce that they have joined BJP and will seek re-election on the party’s Lotus symbol.

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