A meeting between rebel Congress legislator Ramesh Jarkiholi and his close confidant and law maker Mahesh Kumathalli on Wednesday created flutters within the grand old party with speculation about them quitting the party once again coming to the fore.
Ramesh Jarkiholi, who has been hobnobbing with the BJP for some time now, has threatened that he along with other MLAs would soon resign en masse from the Congress, which had caused fear among the ruling coalition leaders as it would trigger thenumbers game in the assembly.
However, there were reports about Ramesh beingdeserted in his attempt to mobilise Congress MLAs to resign,as several legislators considered close to him like Shrimant Patil of Kagawad and Mahesh Kumathalli and B Nagendra ofBellary have pledged their loyalty to the party.
But the Wednesday meeting between Jarkiholi and Kumathalli has rekindled the speculation that the MLAs are still together and working out a strategy post the Lok Sabha election results on May 23.
It is still not clear how many MLAs are in touch with Jarkiholi.
However, speaking to reporters after the meeting, Kumathalli said he had met Jarkiholi to discuss about water scarcity in the region and would remain in the party.
"There is no other meaning to this meeting...you please ask him (about him quitting Congress). As far as I'm concerned, neither me nor him (Jarkiholi) will quit.
All ourdecisions are one and will be the same even after the May 23 Lok Sabhapoll results," he said.
Jarkiholi had on Tuesday held discussions with BJP leader and former MLA C P Yogeshwar.
"According to me Ramesh Jarkiholi will notquit Congress..." he said.
Jarkiholi and Kumathalli are among the MLAs againstwhom Congress has moved a petition, seeking disqualificationunder the anti-defection law to the Speaker for not attending crucial CLP meetings amid BJP's alleged attempts to topple the government and not attending the budget session of the assembly initially.
Jarkiholi also did not campaign for Congresscandidates during the Lok sabha polls and even stayed away fromRahul Gandhi's events, while Kumathalli took part in campaign activities.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)