At least two legislators BS Anand Singh and Pratap Gowda Patil may give a tough time for the Congress party to keep its flock together till newly sworn in BS Yeddyurappa takes up vote of confidence in the state assembly.
Even though former chief minister Siddaramaiah and several other party leaders continue to claim their all 78 legislators are together, Singh and Gowda Patil are missing from the Eagleton resort where other legislators are being lodged to foil BJP's poaching attempt. Senior party leader DK Shivakumar went on to add that it is not just Singh and Gowda Patil but other 76 legislators will not shift loyalty and remain with the Congress party.
However, JD (S) leader HD Kumaraswamy alleged that Anand Singh was under pressure from the BJP.
Anand Singh, former Karnataka Minister, and two-time MLA from Vijayanagar in Bellary quit BJP in January 2018 to join Congress ahead of the Assembly elections this year. Pratap Gowda, who projects himself as the agriculturist, was elected from the Maski assembly constituency. Fearing action from the Central institutions including Enforcement Directorate, Anand Singh may be under BJP's radar and not in hurry to reveal his cards.
Profile of Anand Singh
Anand Singh is a leading businessman with varied interests in mining, trade and hospitality sectors. He is also the editor of Ananda Karnataka Daily. He was the minister in the BJP led government between 2008 and 2013. He had deserted BJP to join Congress party in January this year ahead of recently concluded Karnataka assembly election. He was subsequently elected on the Congress ticket. He faces charges of illegally transporting iron ore. He was arrested in 2013 and later in 2015. Anand Singh was in jail with Janardhan Reddy, the main suspect in the Rs 16,500 crore illegal mining scam.Anand Singh also faces charges of criminal intimidation, rioting and attempt to murder.
Profile of Pratap Gowda Patil
A 63-year-old legislator comes from the farming and had become legislator for the first time on a BJP ticket in 2008. Thereafter, he switched to Congress and retained his seat in 2013 poll. In the recently held election, he won the poll for the third successive term defeating BJP's Basanagouda Turvihal.
Interestingly, Gowda Patil had desired to migrate to BJP but could not do so fearing revolt from the local Congress leaders. He still enjoys coordial relationship with a number of BJP leaders including Yeddyurappa. He may be BJP's soft target.