New Delhi: The political crisis in Karnataka is showing no sign of slowing down even as the Janata Dal (Secular) and Congress leaders held continuous talks in the face of rebel MLAs’ resignation and withdrawing of their support to the coalition government. In a last-ditch effort to save the crumbling government, on Monday, 21 Congress ministers and nine Janata Dal (Secular) ministers resigned from the state cabinet to placate the 14 rebel MLAs who withdrew their support to the Congress-JD(S) coalition government.
The current crisis in the ruling coalition started last Monday with two Congress MLAs resigning from the assembly.
Earlier in the day, independent MLA and minister H Nagesh stepped down while 13 MLAs had submitted their resignations to the assembly speaker on Saturday. Another Congress MLA, Rahim Mahmood Khan from Bidar North, has also threatened to resign from the assembly, according to media reports. Chief minister HD Kumaraswamy is reported to be mulling over postponing the monsoon session of the assembly.
The JD(S)-Congress government in Karnataka is facing a serious crisis after 13 MLAs of the coalition government put in their papers to the state assembly speaker, on Saturday, to bring its number to 105, which is the same number of MLAs the BJP has in the current 224-member assembly. Several other rebels are reported to be waiting to exit.
The resignations of the 13 MLAs, at least 10 of whom have moved to a Mumbai hotel, are yet to be accepted by the speaker. The troubled ruling coalition will face the risk of losing its majority if the resignations are accepted – the coalition’s tally will be reduced to 104, with Nagesh’s resignation.
However, Congress’s DK Suresh said, “There is no infighting. Our leaders are in touch with those who have resigned. The government is stable.”
While blaming the BJP, he added, “BJP's national leaders are behind this. BJP does not want any opposition in the state or the country. They are ruining democracy.”
Earlier, on Sunday, Kumaraswamy, immediately after returning from the United States, had met the senior Congress leaders to discuss the strategies to save to collapsing government. His proposals included constituting a fresh cabinet and offering ministerial positions to rebels. KC Venugopal, AICC general secretary; Mallikarjun Kharge and Siddaramaiah, senior Congress leaders from Karnataka, and JD(S) leaders were present at the meeting. According to media reports, the party leaders were seen pursuing rebel MLAs to withdraw their resignation during the meeting.
In an attempt to sort out the crisis, the Congress has convened its legislative party meeting on Tuesday in Bengaluru. However, the 12 rebel MLAs have refused to attend the meeting and even refused to withdraw their resignations.