4 Opposition MLAs join BJP in Karnataka

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Bangalore, Jul 6: The main Opposition Congress in Karnataka suffered another jolt when its Legislator J Narayanaswamy quit his seat and joined the ruling BJP on Sunday, July 6. The BJP, on Saturday, July 5, managed to bring three Legislators --two from the JD(S) and one from the Congress-- to its fold.

Mr Narasimha Swamy, the newly elected Legislator from Doddaballapur Assembly seat, joined the BJP after submitting his resignation to Speaker Jagadish Shettar. Mr Narasimha Swamy, son of senior Congress Lok Sabha member R L Jalappa, officially joined the BJP in the presence of party state unit chief D V Sadananda Gowda. Defending his action, he told newspersons that in the interest of his constituency, he decided to quit the Congress.

''I will contest the byelections to Doddaballapur Assembly seat as a BJP candidate,'' he added.

The BJP, yesterday, managed to bring three Legislators --two from the JD(S) and one from the Congress-- to its fold. The two JD(S) MLAs — Balachandra Laxman Rao Jarkiholi and K Shivanna Gouda Naik — and Congress legislator Anand Vasant Asnotikar submitted their resignation letters to speaker Jagadish Shettar, who has accepted them.

The BJP, which formed the first ever 'saffron government' in the South with the crucial support of six Independents MLA's in May this year, was comfortably placed in the 225-member Karnataka Assembly with 116 members, while Opposition strength was reduced from 108 to 104.

The decision of the Congress and JD(S) members to quit their parties and join the BJP assumes significance in the wake of the coming Budget Session, scheduled to be held from July 17.

Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa, who holds the Finance portfolio, would present the budget proposals for 2008-09, which would have to be passed in both the Houses of the Karnataka Legislature.

With the reduced strength of Opposition, the ruling party would expect a smooth sailing of the Session.


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