Bengaluru, March 8 : Karnataka Assembly Speaker K.R. Ramesh Kumar served a notice to Umesh Jadhav to explain the reasons for resigning from the Chincholi Assembly seat as a Congress member weeks after his party sought his disqualification under the anti-defection law, an official said on Friday.
"Though Jadhav resigned on March 4, the Speaker is yet to accept the resignation as the Congress petition for his disqualification is pending since February 11. Jadhav has been given a week to clarify his position," an official of the Assembly Secretariat told IANS here.
Even before his resignation from the Assembly seat and the Congress formally accepting it, Jadhav joined the BJP at Kalaburagi on March 6 in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a party rally.
Congress legislature party (CLP) leader Siddaramaiah wrote to the Speaker seeking legal action against Jadhav under the anti-defection law for defying the party whip, abstaining from two CLP meetings on January 18 and February 8 and skipping five days of the Assembly budget session in February.
"Siddaramaiah urged the Speaker to consider his petition for legal action against Jadhav and three other rebel MLAs before accepting the latter's resignation," the official said.
The other three are Ramesh Jharkiholi, B. Nagendra and Mahesh Kumathahalli.
Jadhav, however, maintained that he did not defy the party whip and gave reasons for his absence at the CLP meetings and the budget session.
Jadhav is a two-time MLA from the Chincholi constituency in Kalaburagi district, about 600 km north of Bengaluru.
Slamming Jadhav for joining the BJP, Siddaramaiah tweeted on February 6 that the latter had fallen for 'Operation Kamala', a reference to the BJP's attempt to poach rival party legislators.
"People are saying Jadhav sold himself for money and power. If true, it is shameful on his part," Siddaramaia added.
BJP spokesman G. Madhusudan, however, refuted Siddaramaiah's charge and said Jadhav left the Congress as he was unhappy with its leadership.