Former Chief Minister and senior Congress leader Siddaramaiah
Former Chief Minister and senior Congress leader Siddaramaiah

Karnataka crisis: Congress gets in 'Save Government' mode

ANI | Updated: Jul 07, 2019 19:59 IST

Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], July 7 (ANI): As the political situation gets fluid in the state after 11 Congress MLAs resigned from the Assembly, the ruling party has stepped up its efforts to save the government from yet another crisis.
Former Chief Minister and senior Congress leader Siddaramaiah has called the meeting of Congress Legislature Party (CLP) on July 9 here in which all MLAs have been asked to attend, failing which strict action will be taken against them.
KC Venugopal and Mallikarjun Kharge will also be present in the meeting, which precedes the Assembly Session commencing on July 12.
Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy, who has returned from the US after cutting short his visit, is going to have a meeting with JDS MLAs and Congress party leaders. The meeting will discuss among other things the current crisis the coalition government is facing.
As claimed by H Vishwanath, three Janata Dal-Secular (JDS) MLAs have also resigned, taking the total figure to 14.
The senior Congress leaders held a series of meetings on Sunday in a bid to save the coalition government, which has faced the problem of instability from day one it came into being.
Senior Congress leaders including Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara, Home Minister MB Patil, Siddaramaiah, HK Patil, KC Venugopal, and Mallikarjun Kharge met to discuss the prevailing political situation in the state following the resignation of party MLAs on Saturday.
After the meeting at ITC Windsor Palace hotel here, Parameshwara said that the coalition leaders were talking to the disgruntled MLAs to save the state government. "We are talking to them," he said.
DK Shivakumar also held a separate meeting with JDS supremo HD Deve Gowda to discuss the situation.
"JDS has called a meeting of its leaders to sort out the issue. I am confident that things will cool down immediately. In the interest of the nation and both the parties, we have to run the government smoothly. I am confident MLAs will come back," he told ANI after the meeting.
A senior JDS leader, while talking to ANI, said that his party has sent a message through Shivakumar to KC Venugopal, who is Congress' in-charge for Karnataka affairs, to convince their MLAs so that the government is run smoothly.
"It is very difficult for us to face such a situation time and again. This time it needs to be sorted out effectively. We have also called our MLAs meeting this evening and will tell our MLAs to be with the party and decisions," he added.
However, the Congress leaders exuded confidence that the state government will survive the crisis.
"Everything is OK. Wait for some time and you will get good news," said Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) working president Eshwar Khandre while talking to reporters after a meeting with the party leaders here.
When asked if the coalition government will run smoothly, he said: "Yes, it will run." He also expressed hope that disgruntled MLAs would come back.
"Wait and see. I am hopeful that our MLAs will come back. I am 100 per cent hopeful that they will come back. We are in touch with them," said the KPCC working president.
A senior Congress leader, who is tasked to keep the party MLAs together, has blamed Siddaramaiah for sabotaging Karnataka government coalition, terming the former chief minister "a thief inside the party."
The senior party leader, on the condition of anonymity, said: "Siddaramaiah is playing games to wreck the Congress-JDS coalition for his prestige."
"There are thieves inside the house (Congress). One man (Siddaramaiah) is doing this for his prestige. He is playing all these games. MLAs who are there (in Mumbai) are in constant touch with Siddaramaiah but I don't know what my party high command is doing," he said.
Earlier today, Siddaramaiah refuted claims about him being the reason behind the crisis.
"I am in touch with 5-6 MLAs. I can't reveal all the details. Everybody is loyal to the party. It is not a question of a person being loyal to me. Everybody is expected to be loyal to the party," Siddaramaiah had told reporters.
The BJP, which is the single largest party in the state Assembly, has denied any hand behind the political turmoil within the state government.
"I am going to Tumkur and I will come back at 4 pm. You know about the political developments. Let us wait and see. I do not want to answer to what HD Kumaraswamy and Siddaramaiah say," Yeddyurappa said while speaking to media persons here.
Congress MLAs Anand Singh and Ramesh Jarkiholi resigned from the government earlier this week.
Those MLAs, who resigned from the Assembly on Saturday, include BC Patil, H Vishwanath, Narayan Gowda, S Hebbar, Mahesh Kumatalli, Gopalayya, Ramesh Jharkiholi, and Pratap Gowda Patil. The dissident MLAs late on Saturday arrived in Mumbai and are staying at a hotel.
The Congress workers held protests against BJP accusing it of trying to destabilise the state government.
The Youth Congress workers also protested outside Sofitel Hotel in Mumbai where at least 10 disgruntled MLAs are lodged urging them to take back their resignation.
Maharashtra BJP vice president and MLC Prasad Lad, who was seen outside Sofitel Hotel, said that he was busy with the party's membership drive and had no idea of the political turmoil in the state except what was being reported by the media.
Union Minister Prakash Javadekar while commenting on Karnataka situation said: "The Congress MLAs are resigning in Karnataka. Former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Bhaskar Rao joined BJP on Saturday. The whole atmosphere is in favour of the BJP and the opposition is losing the plot because they are inactive."
BJP leader Murlidhar Rao, while commenting on the allegation that the BJP is behind what is going on in Karnataka, said: "This is nonsense. It is a baseless allegation. By making allegations against another party that has nothing to do with internal affairs of the Congress, they are not going to gain anything."
The Congress party has accused the BJP of trying to form a government in the state through defections.
"Aaya Ram, Gaya Ram (the culture of defections) has now attained a new definition in India. The new word for 'Aaya Ram Gaya Ram' is MODI -- mischievously orchestrated defections in India," Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said in New Delhi on Saturday while talking to media persons. (ANI)