Bengaluru: Karnataka Speaker has issued notice to rebel Congress leader Umesh Jadhav and three other disgruntled MLAs of the party to explain their violation of the anti-defection law. A meeting in this regard has been convened on March 12 at 3 pm.

MLA Umesh Jadhav quit  Congress and joined the BJP on March 6. Speaker Ramesh Kumar issued the notice to MLAs Umesh Jadhav, Ramesh Jarkiholi, Mahesh Kumatahalli and B Nagendra.

Thus the four members might face disqualification if they do not have proper explanation for violating the anti-defection law.

However,  Umesh Jadhav might not be worried about it because it is speculated that he is likely to be pitted against veteran Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge in the upcoming Lok Sabha election.

On the day when Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed a rally in Kalaburagi, Jadhav joined the BJP in the presence of state party president BS Yeddyurappa, former chief minister Jagadish Shettar and a host of other party leaders.

"I am happy and proud of joining the BJP," Jadhav said before Modi arrived on stage.

He also sought the blessings of the people of Kalaburagi to make Modi Prime Minister again.

BJP sources said Jadhav is likely to be the party's Lok Sabha candidate for the Kalaburagi seat to challenge Kharge, a nine-time MLA and two-term Lok Sabha member, who has never tasted electoral defeat.

Jadhav had on Monday submitted his resignation from the Assembly to Speaker Ramesh Kumar.

The Congress has petitioned the Speaker seeking disqualification of Jadhav along with Ramesh Jarkiholi, B Nagendra and Mahesh Kumathali under the anti-defection law.

The four MLAs had kept the party on tenterhooks for several weeks, defying its whip twice to attend the Congress Legislative Party (CLP) meetings on January 18 and February 8 and had skipped the early part of the budget session as well.

After the MLAs refused to fall in line, the Congress had petitioned the Speaker to disqualify them.

However, Jadhav, along with other three MLAs, had attended the session and voted in favour of the finance bill, with an intention not to violate the whip and avoid any stringent action.

Jadhav was upset with the Congress against the alleged dominance of veteran party leader Kharge and his son Priyank Kharge in the region.

Jadhav was against Priyank Kharge getting ministerial berth from the region, ahead of several senior Congress leaders including himself.

Jadhav quitting the Congress has come after two other senior leaders, Baburao Chinchansur and Malikayya Guttedar, from the region quit the party and joined the BJP, citing the alleged dominance of the Kharges as the reason.

Jadhav is likely to face some hurdles ahead of his candidature for the Lok Sabha polls, as a petition to disqualify him is still pending before the Speaker.

"The petition to disqualify Jadhav is still pending... without disposal of this petition, his resignation cannot be accepted as per law, in my knowledge," Congress Legislature Party leader Siddaramaiah said on Tuesday.

However, whether to accept the resignation or not is ultimately left to the Speaker as he is the ultimate authority, Siddaramaiah had added.