A Congress legislator in Karnataka who had gone "missing" for several weeks during the political turmoil in the state resigned from the party today. Umesh Jadhav submitted his resignation to the state assembly speaker. The Congress called him a "betrayer" and said that he had "already sold himself to the BJP".
Mr Jadhav is a two-time legislator from Chincholi constituency in north Karnataka's Kalaburagi district.
He submitted his resignation letter without giving any explanation.
Umesh Jadhav and three other Congress legislators - Ramesh Jarkiholi, B Nagendra and Mahesh Kumtahalli - surfaced in Bengaluru last month, weeks after they went "missing". The Congress had recommended their disqualification to the assembly speaker.
"Dr Umesh Jadhav's resignation was a forgone conclusion because he had already sold himself to the BJP. He is leaving the Congress party for his selfish motives. He can be called a betrayer," Karnataka Congress chief Dinesh Gundu Rao told reporters.
The four leaders had kept the party on tenterhooks for several weeks, skipping the budget session of Karnataka assembly last month and defying the party's instructions to attend the two meetings of its legislators on January 18 and February 8.
The opposition BJP has been accused of trying to poach the legislators to bring down the coalition government of Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy's Janata Dal (Secular) and the Congress.
Umesh Jadhav's resignation will not affect the majority of the coalition government.