Miffed Ramesh plans Europe tour

Bengaluru: Having failed in his attempt to  attract Congress legislators to resign en bloc, Gokak Congress MLA and former minister Ramesh Jarkiholi is said to be planning a three-week foreign jaunt shortly to be away from the public glare.

According to sources, Ramesh plans to go on a 21-day tour of European countries and has applied for the visa. It could not be ascertained who else would be accompanying him on this tour.

The rebel MLA after announcing his intention to resign from the Assembly in Belagavi last week, had arrived in Bengaluru to hold talks with his fellow MLAs in an attempt to persuade them  to resign. But, none of them were prepared to join him, at least before the poll results on May 23 leaving him embarrassed, said sources.

The sources said another reason for  Ramesh going on a foreign tour at this juncture is a bid to buy time till the announcement of the Lok Sabha results on May 23.

He feels there will be  major political developments if the BJP led NDA government returns to power at the Centre.

The state BJP would then have to depend on the Belagavi strongman to make disgruntled Congress-JD(S) legislators  resign so that the coalition government collapses.

State Congress leaders who initially tried to convince him not to resign, kept quiet after they came to know that no Congress MLA was prepared to join Ramesh at this juncture.  Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy too did his bit to retain Ramesh in the Congress and engaged an emissary for the job but no deal was clinched as the latter seemed keen on buying time saying he wanted to consult his followers.

Meanwhile, the BJP has reportedly given the Gokak MLA a free hand to hold talks with  fencesitters in the Congress. A couple of senior BJP politicians from Maharashtra are backing Ramesh in his efforts to destabilize the coalition government, said sources adding that this activity will gain strength if the BJP led NDA comes back to power in Delhi.

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