The coalition crisis of Karnataka has further worsened on Monday as Independent MLA and minister Nagesh quit his post and said that he was ready to support the BJP. After this, all Congress ministers submitted their resignation to the party chief to appease the rebel MLAs. These MLAs are in Mumbai and they refused to take back their resignations. The ruling coalition has 118 MLAs in the 224 member assembly and it faces the risk of losing its majority if the resignations are accepted.
Former CM Siddaramaiah appealed to the rebel MLAs to reconsider their decision. He said, “On behalf of the Congress party I request all those who have resigned to reconsider their decision and strengthen our government. Our ministers have voluntarily resigned to help save the government. We will try to accommodate those MLAs who have resigned and interested to be the ministers. We will reshuffle the cabinet keeping regional aspirations and social obligations in mind.”
The development came after Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy met rebel Congress MLA Ramalinga Reddy amid the ongoing crisis in the state. Total 13 Congress-JD(S) MLAs have resigned from their post. This situation is being seen as warning for the 13-month-old alliance government.
In the meantime, one BSP MLA N Mahesh has also threatened to join the league of MLAs, who have tendered their resignation demanding ministerial berths. N Mahesh said that he is willing to offer issue-based support to BJP.
On the other hand, a day after the resignation of MLAs, leaders of both the Congress-JDS held day-long discussions about the next course of action to save the government. Deputy chief minister G Parameshwara has called a meeting of Congress ministers over breakfast to stabilise the government. He said no leadership change was discussed yet but talks were on with disgruntled MLAs to tell them about priorities.
Meanwhile, CM HD Kumaraswamy returned from the USA on Sunday. He participated in a series of meetings with coalition leaders. There were reports of a change of guard as an option to save the government by making veteran Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge the Chief Minister. But Kharge ruled it out. He termed it false and flimsy news and it was being spread through the media just to divide the party.
BJP state unit chief BS Yeddyurappa said that the party was watching the developments and that they were not sanyasis to rule out the possibility of forming the government. Ruling out the possibility of any mid-term polls, he said that it has been just 13 months after the assembly election. We will not allow election to happen. He said, “Let the Congress-JDS give good administration. If they can’t, we are there with strength of 105 MLAs…we will not meet the Governor or go to Delhi for now. We are watching the developments.”
Siddaramaiah alleged that the BJP had been trying to destabilise since last one year and this is their sixth attempt. They will surely fail again and will have to face the wrath of the public. They are unable to digest the fact that our coalition govt is trying to ensure social justice & regional balance.
“BJP is misusing the central govt and its agencies to threaten our MLAs. It is not just by BJP Karnataka leaders but also by dictators Amit Shah and Narendra Modi. They are nothing but the traitors of this vibrant country,” the former Karnataka CM says.
Blaming BJP for the resignations of Congress-JD(S) MLAs, Siddaramaiah said, “BJP had not got any mandate from the people even if percentage of votes are considered. Independents and BSP MLAs had supported our coalition govt. We have numbers to prove majority but BJP Karnataka is continuously trying to topple our govt.”
Denying the allegations of the Congress, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said, “We are committed to maintaining dignity of parliamentary democracy. Trend of submitting resignations was started by Rahul Gandhi in Congress,it wasn’t started by us. He himself asked people to submit resignations,even senior leaders are submitting their resignations. Defence Minister said in the Lok Sabha, “Our party has nothing to do with what is happening in Karnataka. Our party has never indulged in horse trading.”
Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury raised the issue in Parliament accusing the BJP of orchestrating the political crisis in the state. Addressing the media over the current crisis in the state, K C Venugopal said, “We do agree a situation has arised. Some have grievances, of course. In a democracy, we cannot accommodate everyone. Yesterday and today we had detailed discussion. Today we met all ministers. The ministers themselves voluntarily resigned and entrusted party to reshuffle.”
Meanwhile, Karnataka Minister Zameer Ahmed Khan expressed confidence that the at least 6-7 of the 10 MLAs camping in Mumbai are going to come back. All Congress ministers have tendered their resignations in view of the crisis that has shaken the Congress-JD(S) coalition government in the state. The resignations come as an attempt to salvage the situation and accommodate the rebel MLAs within the cabinet.
BJP leader Shobha Karandlaje demanded the resignation of the chief minister. She said outside BS Yeddyurappa’s residence in Bengaluru that Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy should resign immediately. He has lost the majority. Congress MLAs have already resigned. He should make way for another govt. She said, “We welcome Independent MLA Nagesh (who resigned as minister). We will accept anybody into our party who is from non-political dispensation. We’re not in touch with any rebels of the Congress and JD(S), as long as they are with their parties.”