#KarnatakaCrisis: Before floor test, rebel Congress-MLA says will support Kumaraswamy
In a slight relief for the tottering coalition of Karnataka, a rebel MLA, who tendered his resignation earlier this month said he will vote for the Congress-JD(S) government in floor test on Thursday. Congress' Ramalinga Reddy is among the 18 legislators whose resignations threatened the survival of HD Kumaraswamy's government. On Wednesday, Reddy said he will "remain in the party". Here are more details.
Kumaraswamy's JD(S) and Congress forged a post-poll alliance in 2018 as none of the parties got a complete majority in the assembly polls. While friction between allies was well known, it hit a major roadblock after 18 legislators resigned. Speaker KR Ramesh didn't immediately accept their resignations, buying the parties time to "persuade" the MLAs. And it seems, this trick worked with Reddy.
When Ramesh sat on resignations, MLAs approached Supreme Court. Initially, the apex court asked Ramesh to take a call by Thursday but then gave him time till Tuesday. On Wednesday, SC said Ramesh can decide on resignations at a time which suits him. He just has to inform the court. Meanwhile, the rebel MLAs can't be forced to attend the floor test, SC added.
While Congress-JD(S) scrambled to keep the flock together, Reddy gave good news. The former Home Minister of Karnataka said he resigned on July 6 due to various reasons. Saying he has been with Congress for last 45 years, Reddy reminded he is a seven-time MLA. "I had only resigned as an MLA but I had never said I would move away from the Congress," he said.
Interestingly, when most rebel MLAs went to Mumbai, Reddy stayed in Karnataka. His name also didn't crop up when Congress approached Ramesh seeking "disqualification" of disgruntled MLAs, calling him an "exception". "Several leaders from the party have also asked me to do the same. In light of these developments, I would like to say that I will continue with the Congress party," Reddy added.
However, Reddy remained tight-lipped on his resignation. He said, "I tendered my resignation to the Speaker. I will not talk about whether I am withdrawing my resignation or not. I will discuss it with the Speaker and then make an announcement".
To note, Reddy's daughter and lawmaker Sowmya Reddy had supported him when he tendered his resignation. She said the "double standards" of Congress hurt him. "We feel betrayed by the state Congress leadership. It has been 13 months. The first time he (Ramalinga reddy) spoke up was in December," she had said at the time.
Despite, Reddy's support, the coalition still needs more votes to sail through. Currently, Congress MLAs Ramesh Jarkiholi, Byrathi Basavaraj, ST Somashekhar, BC Patil, Shivaram Hebbar, Prathapgouda Patil, MTB Nagaraj, and Mahesh Kumathalli are staying at Mumbai's Renaissance Hotel along with JD(S) MLAs K Gopalaiah, AH Vishwanath and Narayana Gowda. Meanwhile, Congress' Munirathna Naidu, Roshan Baig, K Sudhakar, and Anand Singh, remained in Karnataka.