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Saturday, Aug 17, 2019

‘I’ll come back only if…’: Karnataka Congress MLA on his resignation

It all began after DK Shivakumar, the Congress’ key troubleshooter in Karnataka, visited the house of Nagaraj, who is housing minister in the state government, early on Saturday morning.

india Updated: Jul 14, 2019 09:00 IST
Vikram Gopal
Vikram Gopal
Hindustan Times, Bengaluru
Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy with rebel Congress MLA MTB Nagaraj at the residence of Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Siddaramaiah in Bengaluru on Saturday.
Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy with rebel Congress MLA MTB Nagaraj at the residence of Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Siddaramaiah in Bengaluru on Saturday. (ANI PHOTO.)
         

After day-long discussions with senior leaders of the Congress and chief minister HD Kumaraswamy, rebel Congress MLA MTB Nagaraj announced late on Saturday that he would take back his resignation, giving the tottering Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) government a shot in the arm.

It all began after DK Shivakumar, the Congress’ key troubleshooter in Karnataka, visited the house of Nagaraj, who is housing minister in the state government, early on Saturday morning.

Speaking to reporters outside Siddaramaiah’s house, Nagaraj said: “I have decided to stay back in Congress and I have also said I’ll speak to K Sudhakar and bring him back.”

Nagaraj and Sudhakar had submitted their resignations to Assembly Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar on July 10. They were asked to present themselves before Kumar on Wednesday.

Nagaraj and Sudhakar are among five MLAs who moved the Supreme Court on Saturday to implead themselves in the ongoing petition of 10 rebel MLAs, who alleged that the Speaker was causing inordinate delay in accepting their resignations.

After the press briefing, Nagaraj said he would convince Sudhakar and ask him about his decision. “If he also agrees to come back then I’ll come back. If he doesn’t agree what will I do coming back alone?”

Kumaraswamy’s decision on Friday in the Assembly to voluntarily call for a trust vote had taken the opposition BJP by surprise. So far, 16 MLAs had submitted resignation letters and two independents had withdrawn supported to the government, putting it on the back foot.

If the resignations are accepted, the House strength will reduce to 209, from the current 225 -- one nominated MLA from the Anglo Indian community is also eligible to vote. The coalition will be reduced to 101 in the scenario, excluding the Speaker.

The BJP with 105 MLAs and the support of the two independents will be in a majority if this were to happen.

Speaking after Nagaraj, former chief minister Siddaramaiah said he was confident that all the MLAs would return in time for the trust vote.

“I didn’t speak to Sudhakar but I’m hopeful he’ll come back. Nagaraj and Sudhakar had taken the decision together to resign. Now, Nagaraj will talk to Sudhakar and bring him back,” Siddaramaiah said. “We are in talks with others as well and we are confident that they will return in time for a trust vote,” he added.

The trust vote has not yet been scheduled as opposition leader BS Yeddyurappa was not present at the business Advisory committee meeting of the House on Friday. It will be taken up again on Monday.

Meanwhile, Yeddyurappa told reporters earlier in the day that he had no objection to the trust motion. “Now five more MLAs have impleaded themselves in the case. The chief minister said he’ll move a confidence motion. Let us wait till Monday. We have no objection if he wants to move. It is better he resigns and goes and allows a new government to be formed,” he said.

First Published: Jul 13, 2019 23:16 IST

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