Karnataka government in crisis after 11 MLAs resign

ANI | Updated: Jul 06, 2019 23:44 IST

Bengaluru (Karnataka) (India), July 6 (ANI): Over 13 months-old Karnataka's coalition government of Janata Dal (Secular) and the Congress on Saturday slumped into crisis following the resignation of their 11 MLAs from the membership of the state Assembly.
However, JD(S) MLA H Vishwanath said that 14 MLAs have jointly tendered their resignations to Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar and requested him to accept them. However, the Speaker has not yet accepted their resignations.
After this dramatic turn of events, the state government appeared to have fallen into a minority forcing Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy, who is in the US, to cut short his visit. He is expected to fly back here on Sunday.
Former Chief Minister and Congress leader Siddaramaiah late on Saturday evening held a meeting with the party MLAs where he is believed to have discussed among other things the current political situation in the state. The meeting took place at his house.
The strength of the ruling coalition in Karnataka has come down to 105, which is eight short of the half-way mark of 113 for a majority.
Congress MLAs Anand Singh and Ramesh Jarkiholi resigned from the government earlier this week.
Those MLAs, who resigned from the Assembly, include BC Patil, H Vishwanath, Narayan Gowda, S Hebbar, Mahesh Kumatalli, Gopalayya, Ramesh Jharkiholi, and Pratap Gowda Patil. The dissident MLAs have reached Mumbai and are staying in resorts.
The Congress leaders went into huddle after the development with AICC general secretary in-charge of Karnataka KC Venugopal rushed to Bengaluru. He held several rounds of meeting with state Congress leaders including Siddaramaiah, Deputy CM G Parameshwara and DK Shivkumar on the crisis gripping the state's coalition government.
Shivakumar, while talking to media persons, dismissed the developments and claimed that the coalition government will not break.
"Nobody will resign. I had come to meet them (eight Congress and three JDS MLAs who had reached the Speaker's office," he said.
Another Karnataka Minister and Congress leader Zameer Ahmad too expressed confidence that the rebel MLAs will come back. "Where else will they go? The resignations have not been accepted yet," he said.
In New Delhi, senior leaders including Ghulam Nabi Azad, Ahmed Patel, Mallikarjun Kharge, Mukul Wasnik, and Randeep Singh Surjewala held an emergency meeting to assess the situation in the state.
Meanwhile, senior BJP leaders in the state said that the party would explore every possibility to form the government while the Congress party blamed the saffron party of indulging into horse trading.
"Being a team of 105 members in the Assembly and as a responsible national political party, we have the responsibility to find a solution to present political problems," said state unit BJP chief and Leader of Opposition BS Yeddyurappa.
He said if the situation arises, the BJP will definitely explore the Constitutional provisions to form the next government.
Union Chemicals and Fertilisers Minister DV Sadananda Gowda said that the MLAs had decided to resign as they thought it was not in the interest of the people of the state and their constituency to be part of the current government.
"If the Governor calls us, certainly we are ready to form the government as we are the single largest party. We have got 105 people with us," he said.
After the dissidence-plagued Congress-JDS coalition government, Congress accused the BJP of "denigrating" democracy by "engineering" defections and attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying the culture of "Aaya Ram Gaya Ram" has attained a new definition which is --Modi -- mischievously orchestrated defections in India.
He said the party deprecates efforts of BJP to "buy over legislators".
Surjewala accused the BJP of forming a government through defections in 12 states.
"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," Surjewala said.
He said Modi and BJP need to be aware that the coalition government in Karnataka, which has "complete majority", is sought to be pulled down by a spate of defections and resignations.
"The MLAs are being bought in broad daylight. Democracy is being denigrated in broad daylight. The Constitution is being trampled upon in broad daylight in Karnataka," he alleged.
However, BJP leader GVL Narasimha Rao said: "People of Karnataka are sick of this political coalition. We have been noticing the developments. They finally realised the chaos that had been created in the state. Not just the BJP but even the people of Karnataka will heave a sigh of relief. For the BJP, we have been looking at what has been going on for quite some time now."
Amid the political crisis in the state, Congress workers protested outside party office against the MLAs who submitted their resignations to the Assembly Speaker. (ANI)

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