The Congress on Tuesday issued a whip to all its MLAs from Karnataka and have asked them to participate in the Legislature Party Meet on February 6 and the assembly session till 15.
In a note, Chikkodi MLA and chief whip of the JD(S)-Congress coalition government Ganesh Hukkeri asked all its MLAs to attend to their day-to-day work and be present at the Vidhana Soudha in support of the government.
The JD(S)-Congress coalition government is set to present its second budget on February 8.
The move is also seen as a counter to the BJP's attempts to dislodge the coalition government in the state. In January, BJP and Congress MLAs from Karnataka stayed in resorts for a few days amid reports that the BJP was speaking to Congress MLAs about switching allegiances. Anand Singh, a Congress legislator from Vijayanagara, was assaulted by JH Ganesh, MLA from Kampli.
Four Congress MLAs - Ramesh Jarkiholi (MLA of Gokak), Mahesh Kumathalli (Athani), Umesh Jadhav (Chincholi) and B Nagendra (Ballari Rural) - failed to show up for a party legislature meeting called on January 18.
A Congress source told TNM that all 4 MLAs will be suspended from the party if they fail to report to party leaders on Wednesday.
The Congress' move to issue a whip has sparked fresh reports of the BJP trying to contact Congress MLAs in the state in another bid to usurp power. Only 2 independent MLAs have withdrawn their support for the current coalition government so far.
Speaking to the media, MB Patil said that Kampli MLA JN Ganesh has not yet been nabbed as he had switched off his cellphone. "He has switiched of his phone and is sitting in an unknown location. How will we know where he is?" MB Patil said.
The BJP has repeatedly tried to topple the Congress-JD(S) coalition in Karnataka and after three failed attempts, the party is once again trying to lure Congress MLAs to its side.
"If the Congress MLAs are not present, then the coalition will not have enough votes to pass the budget. This will automatically prove they do not have a majority and we will go to the Governor and ask him to impose President's rule," a BJP source said.