Bengaluru: Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy with his cabinet colleagues arrives to attend the Assembly Session, at Vidhana Soudha in Bengaluru, Friday (PTI)
Signalling trouble for the coalition government, Congress leader M T B Nagaraj on Sunday travelled to Mumbai and held a press conference with the rebel lawmakers. He was earlier spotted by TV cameras in the company of senior BJP Karnataka leader R Ashok. This came a day after Nagaraj had said he would remain in the Congress.
Meanwhile, fourteen Karnataka rebel lawmakers camping in Mumbai have written to the Mumbai Police again citing "serious threat" from the Congress leaders who may wish to meet them. Seeking protection, the lawmakers in a letter said they have "absolutely no intention" to meet Mallikarjun Kharge or Ghulam Nabi Azad -- who are likely to visit Mumbai today. The rebel MLAs, few of whom have been in Mumbai for over a week now, had written a similar letter when Congress leader DK Shivakumar had tried to meet them. Amid chants of "go back," Shivakumar who was stopped outside the hotel was detained and later put on a flight to Bengaluru.
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Acting on the plea by the 10 MLAs, the Supreme Court had on July 11 asked the Speaker to decide on the resignations before the end of the day. On the same day, Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy sought time for a trust vote to prove his majority, asserting there is no threat to his government. Kumaraswamy’s announcement took the Yeddyurappa-led BJP by surprise since the veteran leader and his supporters are keen on forming a government with the Congress-JD(S) dissidents.
Sixteen MLAs of the ruling coalition have submitted their resignations to the Speaker. If the resignations are accepted, the coalition will have 101 MLAs in the 224-member House versus the BJP’s 105.
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With a section of the BJP, that’s aligned to the party’s high command, not in favour of forming a new government given the hung nature of the current Assembly, the ruling Congress-JD(S) coalition is hopeful of winning the trust vote. The lack of cohesion in the state BJP, coupled with efforts of the Congress to bring back a few of its more amenable rebels (13 of the 16 who resigned since July 6 are Congress MLAs) to the legislature for the trust vote, are likely to help the coalition win the trust vote.