Another Karnataka Congress legislator quits to join BJP

July 6th, 2008 - 5:50 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Bharatiya Janata Party

Bangalore, July 6 (IANS) Congress legislator J. Narasimha Swamy quit the Karnataka Assembly Sunday to join the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) that is trying to reduce its dependence on independent candidates. Swamy, son of Congress Lok Sabha member from Chikkaballapur R.L. Jalappa, is the second member of the main opposition party to resign a day after party legislator Anand Asnotikar from Karwar resigned to join the BJP.

Swamy was the Congress legislator from Doddaballapur constituency in Bangalore rural district.

“Swamy has submitted his resignation letter to state Assembly Speaker Jagdish Shettar. He has also resigned from the Congress primary membership to join our party. He will contest from the same constituency again in a by-election,” BJP state president Sadananda Gowda told reporters here.

The state legislature office confirmed the speaker has accepted Swamy’s resignation.

Swamy retained the Doddaballapur constituency in the recent assembly election by a margin of 3,754 votes.

“I am joining the BJP to develop my constituency, which remained neglected during the previous term due to political instability and fall of three coalition governments in the state. I have resigned as Congress legislator after consulting the electorate in the constituency. I am confident of winning in the by-election on the BJP ticket,” Swamy told reporters at the party office.

Two Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) legislators - Balachandra Laxmanrao Jarkhiholi from Arabhavi and K. Shivana Gouda Naik from Devadurga - also defected to the BJP after submitting their resignations to the speaker late Saturday.

With the resignation of four legislators in the last 12 hours, the strength of the newly constituted assembly has been reduced to 221 from 225, including one nominated member.

In the May assembly election for 224 constituencies, the BJP won from 110 seats, the Congress 80 and the JD-S 28. Independents bagged the remaining six seats.

The resignations also reduce Congress strength in the lower house to 78 and that of JD-S to 26.

By-elections to the four constituencies will have to be held in the next six months, as per the law.

Falling short of a simple majority by three seats, the BJP roped in the six independents to cross the half-way mark (113) in the assembly and form its own government for the first time in the state as well as in southern India May 30.

Five of the six independents were made cabinet ministers in the month-old B.S. Yeddyurappa government.

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