The political crisis in Karnataka deepened Wednesday as two more Congress MLAs— MTB Nagaraj and K Sudhakar— submitted their resignation to the Speaker of the Assembly in Bangalore.
Both MLAs are considered to be loyalists of former chief minister Siddaramaiah and found places in the coalition government of the Congress-JDS following the intervention of the senior leader. Follow | Karnataka crisis Live Updates
Nagaraj had earlier on Wednesday stated that MLAs were quitting the coalition due to the frequent interference in their constituencies and ministries by Chief Minister Kumaraswamy and his brother H D Revanna. Nagaraj, who is a member of the OBC Kuruba community, is one of the richest MLAs in Karnataka with huge land interests.
The second MLA Sudhakar was part of a rebel Congress group that was lured by the BJP in January ahead of an assembly session. He returned to the Congress fold after the BJP aborted its plans to get a large number of MLAs to defect following the release of an audio recording by Kumaraswamy of conversations of BJP leaders negotiating with an MLA’s son.
Sudhakar whose appointment as the chairman of the state pollution board was initially opposed by Chief Minister Kumaraswamy was accommodated last month as part of a Congress-JDS truce to keep the coalition intact.
The resignation of the two Congress MLAs takes the total of coalition MLAs who have resigned to 16. The Speaker of the state assembly rejected the resignation of nine MLAs on Tuesday for technical errors in the format of the letter given to the Speaker.
A total of 13 Congress MLAs and three JDS MLAs are among those who have given their resignations. If the resignations are accepted by the Speaker the strength of the coalition will fall to 101 compared to the BJP’s 105 plus two Independents.