THE HINDU||:Seven rebel Janata Dal (Secular) MLAs, who supported the third candidate of the Congress in the elections to the Rajya Sabha from Karnataka on Friday, will officially join the Congress on Sunday in the presence of AICC president Rahul Gandhi.
B.Z. Zameer Ahmed Khan (Chamarajpet), N. Cheluvarayaswamy (Nagamangala), Akhanda Srinivasa Murthy R. (Pulakeshinagar), H.C. Balakrishna (Magadi), Bhima Naik (Hagaribommanahalli), Ramesh Bandisidde Gowda (Srirangapatna), and Iqbal Ansari (Gangavati) will be joining the Congress in Mysuru on Sunday.
These seven legislators, along with K. Gopalaiah (Mahalakshmi Layout), were suspended by the JD(S) for defying the party’s whip and voting in favour of the Congress’ third candidate K.C. Ramamurthy during the June 2016 Rajya Sabha elections. However, Mr. Gopalaiah’s suspension was revoked after he submitted an apology.
After nearly 20 months’ battle against JD(S) leaders H.D. Deve Gowda and H.D. Kumaraswamy, these seven legislators identified with the Congress and sought ticket from the governing party to contest in the coming Assembly elections.
Talks with CM
Mr. Cheluvarayaswamy told reporters here on Friday that all the seven legislators held a discussion with Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, and as the JD(S) had already announced candidates against them, they decided to resign from the party and join the Congress.
On supporting the Congress in the Rajya Sabha elections, Mr. Khan said they had shown their ballot paper to the JD(S) agent before exercising their franchise.
Meanwhile, senior politician and former JD(S) leader M.C. Nanaiah will also join the Congress on Sunday. Sources close to Mr. Nanaiah told The Hindu that he was frustrated with the treatment meted out to him in the past three years.