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Saturday, Aug 24, 2019

Karnataka government teeters on the brink after 11 MLAs resign

The latest spate of resignations came at a time when Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy is in the United States.

india Updated: Jul 06, 2019 18:59 IST
Vikram Gopal
Vikram Gopal
Hindustan Times, Bengaluru
Eight Congress and three JD(S ) MLAs at the Assembly Speaker’s  office on Saturday.
Eight Congress and three JD(S ) MLAs at the Assembly Speaker’s office on Saturday.(ANI photo)
         

In a huge jolt to the embattled Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) coalition government 11 legislators of the two parties – eight from the Congress and three from the JD(S) – submitted their resignations to Assembly Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar on Saturday, bringing the government to the brink of collapse.

The Congress MLAs who submitted their resignations are former home minister and seven-time MLA Ramalinga Reddy, Ramesh Jarkiholi, Mahesh Kumathahalli, ST Somashekhar, BA Basavaraj, BC Patil, Pratapgouda Patil, and Shivaram Hebbar, the Speaker’s office confirmed. The three JD(S) MLAs were AH Vishwanath, who resigned as the party’s state president last month, K Gopalaiah and Narayana Gowda.

The resignations come a week after Congress MLA Anand Singh submitted his resignation to the Speaker over alleged differences he had with the government over the sale of mining land. With the 12 resignations, if accepted, the total strength of the House would reduce to 212, but the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party, with 105 MLAs, will still fall short of a simple majority by two.

WATCH | Congress-JDS govt in Karnataka on verge of collapse after 11 MLAs quit

Speaking to reporters as he entered the Vidhana Soudha here, Reddy said he felt he was being sidelined and this was the reason behind his decision. “Congress working president Eshwar Khandre met me and tried to convince me. I have said in the past that I feel I’m big being sidelined and discriminated against. I have nothing against the Congress or the party high command,” he said.

However, the legislators were not able to meet the Speaker, who was not in his chamber, and have left their resignations with his office. His office confirmed that only 11 resignations were received and not 14 as had been claimed by BC Patil.

Follow live updates on Congress-JD(S) situation in Karnataka

The BJP also waded in to add to the coalition’s woes saying it was ready to form a government.

“Governor is the supreme authority. As per the constitutional mandate if he calls us, certainly we are ready to form the government. We are the single largest party, we have got 105 people with us,” ANI quoted Union minister DV Sadananda Gowda as saying.

The developments come at a time when chief minister HD Kumaraswamy is in the United Sattes and Congress state president Dinesh Gundu Rao is in Europe.

The Congress pressed trouble shooter DK Shivakumar to salvage the situation and he met the MLAs outside the Governor’s house. Reddy, Basavaraj and Somashekhar left with him for an unknown destination to hold talks.

AICC general secretary KC Venugopal is set to arrive in the city to hold talks with senior Congress leaders, including former chief minister Siddaramaiah.

The coalition government was formed on May 23, 2018 after the BJP could not prove its majority in the House, ending former chief minister BS Yeddyurappa’s three-day stint as chief minister. After the resignations the coalition will enjoy the support of 106 MLAs – 69 from the Congress, excluding the Speaker, 34 from the JD(S), 1 BSP MLA and two independents.

Also read | BJP says ready to form govt in Karnataka, Yeddyurappa will be CM

First Published: Jul 06, 2019 15:45 IST

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