The Congress-JD(S) coalition government in Karnataka seemed to be hurtling towards a possible collapse after 11 legislators submitted their resignations at the Speaker’s office on Saturday.
Among those who tendered their resignations from the Congress camp include
Ramalinga Reddy (BTM Layout), BC Patil (Hirekerur), Prathapgouda Patil (Maski), Shivaram Hebbar (Yellapur), Mahesh Kumathalli (Athani), ST Somashekhar (Yeshwanthpur), Byrati Basavaraj (KR Puram), and N Munirathna (Rajarajeshwari Nagar). From the JD(S) side, H Vishwanath (Hunsur), Narayana Gowda (Krishnarajpet), and K Gopalaiah (Mahalakshmi Layout) submitted their resignations. Follow LIVE updates
The political crisis in the state has been brewing ever since the BJP swept the parliamentary polls in the state, with the ruling coalition leaders expressing fears that the BJP would try to dislodge the government. In the Lok Sabha elections, the BJP had bagged 25 seats and an Independent supported by it won from Mandya.
The fresh development comes days after two Congress legislators Anand Singh from Vijayanagar constituency in Ballari region and Ramesh Jarkiholi from Gokak constituency in Belagavi region sent in their resignation to the Speaker.
If the resignations are accepted, the wobbly ruling coalition will lose majority in the 222-member Assembly as its strength will come down to 106 (including the Speaker)—Congress (77), JD(S) (37), 2 Independents and 1 BSP MLA. Whereas, the principal opposition BJP has 105 MLAs in the House. The halfway mark in such a scenario will be 106.
While eight Congress MLAs including seven-time legislator and former Karnataka Home Minister Ramalinga Reddy visited speaker Ramesh Kumar’s chamber to tender resignations, three JD(S) legislators led by former JD(S) state president H Vishwanath joined them almost during the same time.
“I am not going to blame anyone in the party or the high command. I somewhere feel I was being neglected over some issues,” Ramalinga Reddy said confirming his resignation. READ| Explained: How stable is Karnataka govt?
However, the Speaker had left his chamber in the state secretariat when the MLAs arrived. Reacting to the development, Speaker Ramesh Kumar acknowledged that 11 resignations have reached his office after he left on Saturday. “I went to the hospital to visit a relative. I won’t be coming to office on Monday but will return to work on Tuesday,” he said.
Meanwhile, the legislators have reportedly submitted their resignations to Assembly Secretary M K Vishalakshi and Ramesh Kumar’s private secretary Roopashri before moving to Raj Bhavan to meet Governor Vajubhai Vala.
According to sources from Karnataka Congress, AICC General Secretary in-charge of Karnataka KC Venugopal will reach Bengaluru Saturday evening to discuss issues with the disgruntled MLAs. He is also expected to pacify the MLAs from resignation.
Incidentally, the developments have taken place in the absence of Karnataka Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy and Congress state president Dinesh Gundu Rao. While the former is on a private trip to the US and is expected to rush back to the state capital on Sunday, the latter is currently in the UK. “Dinesh Gundu Rao’s return is yet to be scheduled,” a Congress leader said in Bengaluru.
Water resources minister and Congress troubleshooter Shivakumar cancelled all programmes at Kanakapura constituency and rushed to meet the MLAs in the speaker’s chamber. Congress working president Eshwar Khandre had held talks with Ramalinga Reddy earlier during the day. Khandre is also expected to meet other disgruntled MLAs by Saturday evening.