The ruling coalition Janata Dal (S) and Congress government headed by HD Kumaraswamy in Karnataka came on the verge of collapse today (Saturday, July 6) as eight Congress and three JD(S) MLAs submitted their resignation to Karnataka Assembly Speaker.
With this, the number of the Congress and the JD(S) members have reduced to 69 and 34, respectively – a total of 103. The overall strength of the Assembly comes down to 211 and the effective simple majority mark to 106 seats – just one more than the BJP’s 105.
With the JD(S)-Congress coalition already at loggerheads over power sharing, the development could lead to a major political turmoil in the state.
As per media reports here is the list of MLAs who resigned:
JD(S) MLAs who resigned:
- H Vishwanath (Hunsur)
- Narayan Gowda (Krishnarajpet)
- K Gopalaiah (Mahalakshmi Layout)
Congress MLAs who resigned:
- Ramalinga Reddy (BTM Layout)
- BC Patil (Hirekerur)
- Pratapgouda Patil (Maski)
- Shivaram Hebbar (Yellapur)
- Mahesh Kumathalli (Athani)
- ST Somashekhar (Yeshwanthpur)
- Byrati Basavaraj (KR Puram)
- Soumya Reddy (Jayanagar)
Last year, the Congress-JD(S) coalition had formed an alliance to keep out the BJP, which had won 105 seats in the state elections to the 225-member house. The coalition also has the support of 2 Independents and 1 BSP MLA right now.
Two Congress MLAs — Ramesh Jharkiholi from Gokak constituency in Belagavi region and Anand Singh from Vijayanagar constituency in Ballari region — had tendered their resignations last week.
Soon after the drama started, Karnataka Congress ‘trouble-shooter’ DK Shivakumar was reportedly asked by high-command to persuade the MLAs and stop them from resigning. He soon rushed to Vidhan Soudha and tried to convince the rebel MLAs but in vain.
Once resignations started flooding Speaker’s chamber, Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar managed to escape Vidhan Soudha. After waiting for almost an hour, rebel MLAs headed towards Raj Bhavan to meet Governor Vajhubhai Rudhubhai Vala.
Speaker Ramesh Kumar told ANI, “I was supposed to pick up my daughter, that is why I went home. I have told my office to accept the resignations and acknowledge the same. Tomorrow is a holiday, so I will see them on Monday.”
The crisis came at a time when KCPP president Dinesh Gundurao and Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy are out of the country.
Working President Eshwar Khandre was reportedly holding meetings within the ranks. Karnataka Congress in-charge KC Venugopal has left for Bengaluru, ANI reported.
CM HD Kumaraswamy after hearing about the political crisis, is heading back to Karnataka from America. JDS insiders say, he may reach on Sunday evening.
Speaking to the media, Congress MLA Ramalinga Reddy said, “I have come to submit my resignation to speaker. I don’t know about my daughter (Congress MLA Sowmya Reddy), she is an independent woman.”
The BJP, which has 105 legislators, says the party has nothing to do with the walkout by the Congress legislators – and says if the government falls, the BJP should be invited to form government.
“Congress-JDS coalition has been rejected by people of Karnataka. Despite their coalition in Lok Sabha polls, BJP won a massive mandate. It clearly shows the mood of people. MLAs certainly seem to be facing brunt of public anger against coalition,” said the BJP’s GVL Narasimha Rao.
BJP leader DV Sadanand Gowda said: “The Governor is the supreme authority, as per the constitutional mandate if he calls us, we are ready to form the government. We are the single largest party, we have got 105 people with us,” Gowda added.
B S Yeddyurappa will be the Chief Minister if a new government is formed in Karnataka, Gowda told ANI.