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.
earlier the woes of the Congress-JD(S) combine in Karnataka worsened today after Independent MLA and minister Nagesh quit his post and said he was ready to support the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). This was followed by all Congress ministers submitting their resignation to the party chief to placate the rebel MLAs.
The development comes even as Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy met rebel Congress MLA Ramalinga Reddy amid the ongoing crisis in the state precipitated by the resignation of 13 Congress-JD(S) MLAs, which has threatened to topple the 13-month-old alliance government.
Nine Congress MLAs and three of JD(S) went to the Speaker’s office to put in their papers Saturday and later met Governor Vajubhai Vala at Raj Bhavan. Another Congress MLA, Anand Singh, submitted his resignation on July 1.
A day after the resignation of MLAs rocked the coalition and plunged the state into a political crisis, leaders of both parties 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. Speaking to the media, Parameshwara said no leadership change was discussed yet but talks were on with disgruntled MLAs to tell them about “priorities”.
Kumaraswamy, who returned from the US on Sunday, went into a huddle with other leaders even as the disgruntled MLAs camped in Mumbai and refused to take back their resignations. The ruling coalition, which has 118 MLAs in the 224 member assembly, faces the risk of losing its majority if the resignations are accepted.
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.
Kharge ruled it out, saying “false” and “flimsy” news was being spread through the media just to divide the party. “I don’t know about it. I want this alliance government to continue and go smoothly,” he said, adding he would also talk to the MLAs to withdraw their resignations.
BJP state unit chief BS Yeddyurappa said 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 “it has been just 13 months after the assembly election. We will not allow election to happen”.
“Let them (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,” he added.
The JD(S)-Congress coalition’s total strength, including those who have put in their papers, is 118 (Congress-78, JD(S)-37, BSP-1 and Independents-2), besides the Speaker. BJP has 105 MLAs in the House, where the half-way mark is 113. If the resignations are accepted, the coalition’s tally will reduce to 105. The Speaker also has a vote.