Karnataka crisis: Kumaraswamy govt loses support of another MLA, could lose majority too
H Nagesh, an Independent legislator who was inducted into the HD Kumaraswamy council of ministers in June, quit the government and withdrew support to the Janata Dal Secular-Congress coalition on Monday.
“I withdraw my support to the government headed by Shri HD Kumaraswamy. In view of the same, suitable action may be taken,” Nagesh said in a letter to Governor Vajubhai Vala. In a second letter, Nagesh extended his unequivocal support to a BJP government that may stake claim to form the government.
Nagesh’s withdrawal of support implies that the Kumaraswamy government won’t have the majority status once the Speaker accepts the resignation of 12 Congress and JDS lawmakers who put down their papers last week. Nine of them are being sequestered in a luxury Mumbai hotel to make sure that the JDS-Congress coalition isn’t able to persuade them to back down.
If all the resignations go through, the JDS-Congress coalition – which is also supported by the BSP’s lone MLA - would have the support of just about 105 legislators including Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar.
The BJP, which has 105 legislators, would cross the majority mark with support from Nagesh.
For now, the Kumaraswamy government is resting its hopes on Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar who hasn’t accepted the resignations so far.
DK Shivakumar, the Congress leader who has often played the role of the coalition’s lead troubleshooter, said the coalition was in touch with H Nagesh. He also stressed that the Kumaraswamy government wasn’t in the red, yet.
“The resignations have to be accepted to make this a minority government,” said DK Shivakumar.
Just hours earlier, the Congress which had stitched together the coalition with the Janata Dal Secular to keep the BJP out of power in 2018, had firmed up a plan to get all its ministers to resign from the cabinet to make space for the rebel MLAs. “Congress ministers have submitted resignations to Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president Dinesh Gundu Rao,” Congress leader Priyank Kharge told HT.
The BJP has been prepping to move in as soon as the Kumaraswamy government collapses. State leader Shobha Karandlaje told reporters after meeting party chief BS Yeddyurappa that it was time for the coalition to pack up. “HD Kumaraswamy should resign immediately. He has lost the majority. Congress MLAs have already resigned. He should make way for another govt,” Karandlaje said.
Karandlaje, however, attempted to underline that the BJP didn’t have anything to do with the imminent collapse of the Kumaraswamy government. “We welcome Independent MLA Nagesh (who resigned as minister). We will accept anybody into our party who is from non-political dispensation… We’re not in touch with any rebels of the Congress and JD(S), as long as they are with their partie,” she said, according to news agency ANI.
On Saturday, nine Congress and three JD(S) MLAs had submitted their resignations to the Speaker’s office and then held a meeting with Governor Vajubhai Vala before the nine of them left for Mumbai by a special flight.