Congress MLA Anand Singh Accused of Graft Charges to Quit Party? Major Blow to Congress-JD(S) Pact in Karnataka
Anand Singh Congress accused of graft charges to quit Congress (Photo Credits- IANS)

Mumbai, May 17: Congress - JD(S) alliance is taking necessary preventive measures to keep their legislators intact. However, to save their MLAs from poaching seems to be a challenging task for them. With each day passing, the risk of losing MLAs is also increasing. According to news reports, Congress MLA Anand Singh would quit from the party. Singh's resignation from Congress will prove to be a major set back for congress- JD(S) pact, who is still dreaming to form a government in Karnataka.

The JD(S)-Congress ally together held a meeting in Bengaluru on Thursday evening, but Singh did not turn up, giving more air to the mounting speculation that he is rejoining BJP. Singh, the two-time MLA from Vijayanagar in Ballari, and also a former Karnataka Minister had quit BJP in January 2018 to join Congress ahead of the Assembly elections this year. He left BJP saying that there were constant squabbling and bickering in the party. Then Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had said that he quit BJP and joined the Congress as there was no place for secular principles, as per news reports.

It is believed that Singh's would leave the party because of the graft charges against him. JD(S) alleged that he had been threatened to face an inquiry from Enforcement Directorate (ED). JD(S) chief HD Kumaraswamy claimed that he(Singh) was under pressure from the BJP. In a statement, Kumaraswamy said to NDTV, "Modi government is misusing institutions of the central government. I know they are threatening MLAs. A Congress MLA told me Anand Singh called him and told him 'they are using ED. " Further, Kumaraswamy quoted as saying that they are going to screw him (Singh) and therefore to protect himself he is taking this step.

Singh is considered to be one of the wealthiest politicians in Karnataka with assets of Rs 104 crore approximately. He also possesses costlier cars like Bentleys, Mercedes Benz and TATA and also known to be a mining baron. However, he was arrested in 2015 on charges of illegally transporting iron ore from Bellikere port in Karnataka. This is the second time Singh was arrested in connection with the illegal mining scandal that created much uproar. Earlier he was arrested in November 2013 and lodged at the central prison in Bengaluru before he got conditional bail in March 2015. Anand Singh was in jail with Janardhan Reddy, the main suspect in the Rs 16,500 crore illegal mining scam. He was once a close associate of the Reddy brothers according to The Indian Express report.

Meanwhile, on a safer side, Congress and JD(S) have decided to shift their MLAs to Kochi to protect their MLAs from poaching.