The drama in Karnataka politics has deepened with the crisis facing the coalition government worsening with each passing day. The government in the state is now on a brink of collapse, as over a dozen MLAs have resigned as well as two Independents supporting the government have resigned. The JD(S) and Congress high-command are doing everything in their power to save the coalition from crumbling. Meanwhile, the BJP is keeping a sharp eye as the course of events are taking place.
Earlier Monday morning, 21 Congress ministers offered their resignations in a meeting held at the residence of Deputy CM G Parmeshwar. Senior Congress leader Siddaramaiah, and Congress general secretary, K.C. Venugopal present at the meeting. Post the meeting, Venugopal said that the Congress ministers have voluntarily resigned ministership to enable cabinet reshuffle.
The Congress ministers also met Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy. 9 JDS MLAs also met the CM and offered their resignations. Putting up a brave face, Kumaraswamy said there was no threat to the coalition govt.
The Cong-JDS coalition faced another jolt when independent MLA H Nagesh met the Governor and submitted his resignation. By afternoon he reached the Sofitel hotel in Mumbai and announced his support to a BJP led government. Later in the evening, Karnataka Minister and Independent MLA R Shankar met the governor and resigned from the Ministry.
The Congress-JD(S) government plunged into crisis since Saturday with 13 MLAs of the alliance submitting their resignations to the speaker so far. They are all staying at a luxury hotel in Mumbai. JDS MLAs have shifted to a resort near Bengaluru. Congress is making all efforts to woo them back but has met little success. It has warned them of disciplinary action if they fail to take back their resignations.
Amidst all the action, the state BJP legislature party met to discuss the situation. The party has demanded that Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy step down immediately as his government has slipped into a ‘minority’ following the series of resignations. The party said they would meet the Governor after the Speakers announced his decision.
The matter came up in Lok Sabha as well. Union Minister Rajnath Singh trashed accusations of BJP indulging in horse-trading. He said the resignation drive was
in fact started by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi.
The Karnataka government will most likely fall if the resignations by the 13 MLAs is accepted. The JDS-Congress coalition has a total of 118 MLAs including the Assembly Speaker. Apart from them, there are 78 Congress and 37 JDS MLAs as well as 1 BSP MLA and 2 Independents. BJP has 105 MLAs. With 14 coalition MLAs resigning as well as 1 Independent withdrawing support, the ruling coalition has been reduced to 102. With the support of the one Independent MLA BJP reaches a tally of 106.