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Two more JD(S) MLAs to join BJP

August 18, 2008 20:40 IST

Two more JD(S) MLAs on Monday quit the party and resigned from assembly membership in Karnataka, dealing a severe blow to former prime minister H D Deve Gowda-led outfit which is struggling to keep its flock together since the May assembly elections.

Former state minister Umesh V Katti walked into the ruling BJP camp by hitting out at the JD (S) which he described as being "in the grip of Gowda family", while B C Gourishankar is all set to join the saffron party.

 "I have resigned from JD (S) and my Madhugiri assembly seat on my own volition and keeping the development of my constituency in mind. Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa has promised to look into the development of my constituency," Gourishankar, son of former minister and a one-time trusted aide of Gowda, C Chennigappa, told the press after submitting his resignation letter to Assembly Speaker Jagadish Shettar.

 Katti represented the Hukkeri assembly segment in Belgaum District and hails from dominant Lingayat community.

After the Assembly elections held in May and in the wake of "Operation Lotus" launched by the ruling BJP to 'poach' on MLAs from opposition parties, JD (S) had lost four of its men and the Congress three in the 224-member house.

 During June, Balachandra Jarakhiholi, Shivannagowda Naik (both from JD-S), Vasant Asnotikar, J Narasimha Swamy and Jaggesh [Images] (Congress) resigned their assembly seats and joined the BJP.

 Jarakhiholi, Asnotkar and Naik have been rewarded ministerial berths by the ruling dispensation.

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