The Congress JDS coalition in Karnataka slipped to the brink of a collapse on Saturday with 13 Congress and JDS MLAs expressing intent to resign and meeting Governor Vajubhai Vala. The resignations hang in the balance since it was not presented directly to the Speaker of the state assembly as mandated under the anti-defection law. The office of the Speaker has asked the MLAs to meet him on Tuesday for formal submission of the resignations.
Watch | Karnataka political crisis, 11 MLAs submit resignation
If accepted by the Speaker, the resignation of the 13 MLAs along with the resignation of Anand Singh on July 1 will bring the coalition number down to 105 and will be the same as the BJP strength of 105. This could lead to demands for a floor test by the BJP in the assembly ahead of the session that begins on July 12. The BJP has distanced itself from the rebellion and is waiting to see how things proceed in the next three days.
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With many of the 14 MLAs being legislators who are cut up over not being given cabinet berths, the coalition government could temporarily avert the crisis by offering sops to the unhappy ones.
The crisis has occurred on the eve of Karnataka CM H D Kumaraswamy’s return from the US after a week long semi-official visit.
The MLAs who have expressed intent to resign are H Vishwanath (JDS), B C Patil, K Gopalaiah (JDS), Mahesh Kumatahalli, Ramesh Jharkiholi, Shivaram Hebbar, Prathapgouda Patil, K C Narayana Gouda (JDS), Ramalinga Reddy, Byrathi Basavaraj, Munirathna, S T Somashekhar and Anand Singh.
The MLAs are from pro and anti-Siddaramaiah groups as well as pro and anti-Kumaraswamy groups. The composition of the group of rebel MLAs suggests an attempt to extract concessions and favours from those controlling the Congress-JDS government, including possibly ministerial posts.
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