Amid reports that he was being wooed by the Bharatiya Janata Party, Congress MLA Umesh Jadhav who skipped the recent Congress Legislature Party meeting and remained incommunicado surfaced in his native Kalburgi on Thursday and said he was still with the party, but dropped hints he was keeping his options open.
"I haven't even thought about it. I'm in Congress...,"he told reporters when asked whether he would remain in Congress in view of the reported offer by BJP to give him ticket for the coming Lok Sabha elections.
However, the MLA, who was upset at not being made a minister, said he will go by the instructions of his voters and supporters on accepting the saffron party's offer.
"I cannot decide it; I will have to discuss with my voters, people and supporters about it... will take decision in the interest of people," he added.
Jadhav along with Ramesh Jarkiholi, B Nagendra and Mahesh Kumatahalli had skipped the January 18 Congress Legislature Party meeting, following which notice were issued
to them asking why action should not be taken against them under the anti-defection law.
Jadhav, however, had written to CLP leader Siddaramaiah stating that since he was 'unwell and not able to travel' he would not attend the meet. He had also requested that his absence may be 'excused'.
Asked as to why he was not reachable by the Congress leadership all these days, the MLA said he was bit upset for some reasons and had given his phone to his brother and gone outside the state.
Denying reports that he was staying in a resort or hotel, he said, he was on a personal visit out side the state.
On a photograph showing him with BJP MLA Ashwathnarayan, Jadhav said it was not taken in Mumbai recently. It must have been taken some other time, he said adding the BJP MLA was his
'close friend' and they knew each other for 15 years.
He claimed work in his constituency was happening at a slow phase under the coalition government.
"I don't know why work is getting delayed. Those in positions have to answer," he said.
Stating that he had expected Minister post 'for the sake of development work', Jadhav said he would not take it even if offered now.
Asked about reported comments by Kaburgi district in-charge minister Priyank Kharge that he can leave the party if he wanted, Jadhav said such attitude was the reason for Congress' present state.
In the Lok Sabha, Congress used to have 300-400 seats.
"... by making such statements we now have around 45-50 you understand," he said adding it damaged the party.
Jadhava took exception to a protest against him in front of his house a few days ago that he had sold himself.
They should be ashamed, let them show the proof, I will work at their house, he added.
According to reports, there is rift between Jadhav and Priyank Kharge and former union minister Mallikarjuna Kharge in Kalburgi and BJP was trying to take advantage of it by wooing him with the Kalaburgi Lok Sabha seat offer.
MLA facing attempt to murder case over brawl blames colleague
Congress MLA J N Ganesh, facing an attempt to murder case after allegedly assaulting his lawmaker colleague Anand Singh, on Thursday purportedly came out with his account, blaming the latter for the turn of events.
Ganesh, in a post in the Facebook page titled 'Kampli Congress' addressed to the people of his Kampli constituency, accused Singh of trying to finish him off politically besides threatening his family.
The absconding MLA claimed it was Singh who first attacked him and also passed derogatory remarks against his family members and also his caste.
Ganesh said he later retaliated and that three other party MLAs were witness to the incidents.
I had no intention to hit Anand Singh who spoke ill about my cast. If I had to do that I could have done it when I was with him in the room for two to three hours. There was no such intention, Ganesh said in the post that bares his photo in the profile of the page.
All these are known to all party leaders. The leaders said there was mistake on both our part and both of us have embarrassed the party and called doctors for give me first aid, he added.
Singh and Ganesh, both from Ballari district, had a heated argument and came to blows at the resort where the Congress MLAs were herded together amid alleged poaching attempt by the BJP.
Police have registered an FIR charging Ganesh with attempt to murder on a complaint by Singh, who is convalescing in a hospital in Bengaluru.
A red-faced Congress on Monday suspended Ganesh, who claimed he was also injured in the incident.
Karnataka Congress President Dinesh Gundu Rao on Thursday asked Ganesh to surrender and face the law.
One has to surrender and face law, nothing should be done illegally, and there is no question of Congress interfering. No one is above law; every one should function under law, he told reporters.
Meanwhile, a group of supporters of Kampli MLA met Roa and requested him to revoke Ganesh's suspension from party.