Karnataka BSP minister quits

'Some people in my constituency were complaining that I spent too much time in Bangalore. At least now I can spend more time in my constituency'

By Our Special Correspondent in Bangalore
  • Published 12.10.18, 2:50 AM
  • Updated 12.10.18, 2:50 AM
  • a min read
  •  
The resignation came just days after BSP chief Mayawati (in pic) ruled out any alliance with the Congress in the upcoming state elections. File picture

The sole Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) minister in the Karnataka cabinet quit on Thursday citing personal reasons, but promised to continue his support to the Janata Dal Secular (JDS).

N. Mahesh, who represents Kollegal in Chamarajnagar district, had become the first BSP minister in any state outside Uttar Pradesh when his party’s alliance with JDS fetched him a berth in the Karnataka cabinet.

The minister for primary and secondary education sent his resignation letter to chief minister H.D. Kumaraswamy and governor Vajubhai Vala.

Mahesh was among the 25 ministers who took oath on June 6.

The resignation came just days after BSP chief Mayawati ruled out any alliance with the Congress in the upcoming state elections.

“I am resigning purely on personal grounds, mainly to focus on my constituency and party work. Otherwise I had a good time as minister,” he told reporters.

He promised to continue supporting Kumaraswamy. “I will also work for all JDS candidates contesting elections in the future,” he said.

“Some people in my constituency were complaining that I spent too much time in Bangalore. At least now I can spend more time in my constituency,” he said.

A senior office-bearer in the state unit of the JDS told The Telegraph that Mahesh had hinted about the exit sometime ago. “He did mention about his plan to focus more on his constituency,” said the leader who did not want to be named.

“We enjoyed a good relationship with Mahesh whose party has been our electoral ally (in the recent Assembly polls). So there is no question of internal issues,” he said when asked if some internal dispute had driven Mahesh to quit.

A Congress functionary too said Mahesh had informed the coalition about his inability to continue. “He said the workload was too much for him to concentrate on his ministry and party.”

“We would go by his official statement and don’t want to speculate on the reasons,” he said when asked if Mayawati’s decision not to have any truck with the Congress might have driven Mahesh to quit.