Karnataka Assembly Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar Monday accepted the resignation of rebel Congress MLA Umesh Jadhav, who is taking on party veteran Mallikarjun Kharge as the BJP candidate from Gulbarga constituency in the coming Lok Sabha elections.
The Congress had petitioned the Speaker seeking disqualification of Jadhav along with other party rebel lawmakers Ramesh Jarkiholi, B Nagendra and Mahesh Kumathali under the anti-defection law.
"I am convinced that the decision (by Jadhav) has been taken of his own volition without being under duress or without falling for any allurements," Kumar said in his order.
The ruling came as a big relief to Jadhav as there was uncertainty over his political future with the Congress seeking disqualification under the anti-defection law.
On March 25, the speaker had conducted a public hearing too giving the voters of Chincholi, the assembly constituency Jadhav represented, a chance to express their views on his decision.
Even before the order could come, Jadhav joined the BJP on March 6 at Kalaburagi the day prime minister Narendra Modi addressed a gathering in the town.
Jadhav was upset with the Congress against the alleged dominance by Kharge, Congress leader in the Lok Sabha, and his son Minister Priyank Kharge in the region.
He was against Priyank Kharge getting ministerial berth ahead of several senior Congress leaders including himself.
The four MLAs had kept the party on tenterhooks for several weeks, defying its whip twice to attend the Congress Legislative party meetings on January 18 and February 8 and had skipped the early part of the assembly budget session.
During the political turmoil that engulfed the state in January, following BJP's alleged attempts to topple the Congress-JD(S) coalition government by poaching their MLAs,the four MLAs had gone incommunicado and were said to be camping in Mumbai, with a plan to jump ship to the saffron party.
After they refused to fall in line, the Congress had petitioned the Speaker to disqualify them under the anti-defection Law.
However, they subsequently attended the session and voted in favour of the finance bill, with an intention not to violate the whip and avoid any stringent action.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)