Kalaburagi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi met around 26 beneficiaries of the Ayushman Bharat scheme. These beneficiaries had arrived from different villages to share their experiences with the prime minister. 

On the politics front, former deputy chief minister R Ashoka exuded confidence that more members from the Congress would ditch the party and shift their loyalties to the BJP, with the Lok Sabha elections fast approaching. 

Taking a dig at the coalition government, R Ashoka wondered as to why it had failed to take off even after 8-19 months after the swearing-in of HD Kumaraswamy. Saying that the members of the coalition government were fighting among themselves, he added that HD Kumaraswamy used the example of a ‘beggar’ to explain his predicaments, while former chief minister Siddaramaiah said that no one is a beggar. 

This being the case, the members of both the parties do not know what to do. Therefore, they feel the best option is to join the BJP. 

Moving to Umesh Jadhav, the Chincholi MLA who cut asunder his ties with the Congress, he is expected to formally join the saffron party in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the Kalaburagi rally. He was seen waving to the people who had gathered in large numbers. The rebel Congress MLA  is gung-ho about the fact that the saffron party will give him a ticket to contest against Mallikarjun Kharge, the MP from Gulbarga. Much before the PM arrived, he held a closed-door meeting with Malikayya Guttedar, who too ditched the Congress and won the assembly elections from Afzalpur and Baburao Chinchansur, another rebel Congress MLA who defected to the BJP from the Chitapur constituency. 

Interestingly, Umesh Jadhav is also free from any consequences of ending his ties with the Congress. The Congress party had issued a whip to the rebel MLAs, including Umesh Jadhav. But he moved his pawns well, by attending the budget session in such a way that he had sent strong signals to Siddaramaiah that he had no interest with the party, while making sure that no legal action would trouble him.