Karnataka: 11 Congress-JD(S) MLAs tender resignations, coalition in crisis
In May last year, JD(S) and Congress forged a post-poll alliance to form government in Karnataka and crowned HD Kumaraswamy as the Chief Minister. Since then, the coalition has been walking on shaky grounds with reports of deflection emerging frequently. But on Saturday, the government went into full-blown crisis mode after 11 MLAs, 8 from Congress and 3 from JD(S), tendered their resignations. Here's more.
Backstory: Despite being single largest party, BJP couldn't form government
The bitterly-fought Karnataka polls didn't yield crystal clear results. Though BJP emerged as the single largest party, by winning 105 seats, it fell short of the majority mark of 116. Moving swiftly, Congress (79 seats) and JD(S) (37 seats) joined hands. However, ruling the state hasn't been easy as both parties have been clashing over a number of issues.
While speaker was absent, MLAs submitted their resignations
While tensions have been prevalent for months, Saturday's development comes as a big blow for Kumaraswamy's government. Reportedly, the MLAs submitted their resignations at speaker Ramesh Kumar's office, in his absence. Earlier this week, two Congress legislators, Anand Singh, and Ramesh Jarkiholi resigned bringing the tally of the coalition government to 116. However, their resignations haven't been accepted formally.
Further, Speaker changed his statements on resignations
Interestingly, Kumar is the only one who can accept the resignations and he downplayed the incident. He told ANI that he went to pick up his daughter. "I have told my office to take resignations and give acknowledgment that 11 members resigned. Tomorrow is leave so I will see them on Monday," Kumar said. However, he sang a different tune while speaking to TNM.
After saying he will return on Monday, Kumar changed dates
"Did they tell me they were coming to meet me? Then how am I supposed to know?" Kumar said when asked about the spate of resignations. Further, he added that as a farmer, he needs to go home every Sunday. "There is already a program on Monday that I need to attend. So I will be back on Tuesday," he added.
Here are the leaders who have reportedly resigned
The Congress leaders who have resigned are Ramalinga Reddy, BC Patil, Pratapgouda Patil, Shivaram Hebbar, Mahesh Kumathalli, ST Somashekhar, Byrati Basavaraj, and Soumya Reddy. The three JD(S) leaders who put their papers are H Vishwanath, Narayan Gowda, and K Gopalaiah.
Unsurprisingly, DK Shivakumar has got into action mode
Confirming his resignation, Congress' Ramalinga Reddy said, "I am not going to blame anyone in the party or the high command. I somewhere feel I was being neglected over some issues." As the slew of resignations threatened the government's stability, DK Shivakumar, who kept the flock together after elections, remained confident. Speaking to media, he said, "Nobody will resign."
Reportedly, Shivakumar tore resignations of leaders
Shivakumar, reportedly, met with legislators at the speaker's chambers and the meeting didn't end well. According to Republic TV, he tore the resignation letters of four ministers. Reacting on this, BJP's BS Yeddyurappa said everyone was noting Shivakumar's actions. "It's condemnable," he said. The crisis comes at a time when Kumaraswamy is in the US. State Congress chief Dinesh Gundu Rao is also traveling.
CM-probable Yeddyurappa slammed Shivakumar
B. S. Yeddyurappa, BJP: People are watching the way DK Shivakumar is behaving. He tore resignation letters of some of the MLAs inside the Speaker's office, who had went to resign, it is condemnable. #Karnataka pic.twitter.com/ZGrdIYodLf— ANI (@ANI) July 6, 2019
Separately, Sadananda Gowda said BJP is ready to form government
"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," said BJP's DV Sadananda Gowda.