#KarnatakaCrisis: 30 ministers resign, Congress meet today, Kumaraswamy blames BJP
The ongoing political crisis in Karnataka took a new turn on Monday after all 30 ministers of the ruling JD(S)-Congress government resigned to make way for a cabinet reshuffle, in hope of saving the coalition from crumbling completely. This move comes after two Independent MLAs, who were given cabinet posts last month, quit. To recall, the crisis started after 13 MLAs resigned on Saturday. Here's more.
Backstory: Spat of resignations spelled troubles for Kumaraswamy's government
In May 2018, Congress and JD(S) formed a post-poll alliance and HD Kumaraswamy became the CM of the state after none of the parties got a clear majority. But his government went into full-blown crisis mode after 13 lawmakers resigned. If their resignations are accepted, the strength of the Karnataka assembly will drop to 209. This means that the majority mark will reduce to 106.
Between government and opposition, who has the numbers?
If speaker KR Ramesh accepts the resignations of 13 dissident MLAs, the coalition's strength will reduce to 103. On the other hand, BJP's strength is 107 (105 + 2 Independent MLAs), just one more than the magic number.
Rebel MLAs are staying in Mumbai, some have supported BJP
According to ANI, the rebel MLAs are staying at an undisclosed location in Mumbai. Meanwhile, JD(S) moved its 34 MLAs to a resort outside Bengaluru to prevent "poaching". Notably, independent MLA H Nagesh has already pledged support for BJP, just like Congress' Roshan Baig. Baig, who was suspended from the party for "anti-party activities", said he will support the saffron party.
Baig said he was hurt by how Congress treated him
"I am hurt by the way Congress party treated me, I will resign from my legislator post and join the BJP," Baig, who once called Congress state in-charge KC Venugopal a "buffoon," said on Monday.
Meanwhile, Congress will hold CLP meeting to deal with crisis
On Tuesday, Congress will hold a Congress legislature party (CLP) meeting. About the turmoil, AICC general secretary K C Venugopal said he was confident the MLAs will return and "strengthen the party". "We are confident the government will continue and then this will be the sixth failure of the BJP within one year to destabilize the government," Venugopal reportedly said.
We will address problems, promised Siddaramaiah
"I want to suggest on behalf of the Congress to all MLAs who have resigned because they were not made ministers and those looking to defect to the BJP that we will address their problems and resolve them," former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said.
Separately, Kumaraswamy is confident his government will survive
On the other hand, Kumaraswamy, who was in the US when the latest crisis started, tweeted, "All (nine) ministers from JD(S) have submitted their resignation just like 21 ministers from Congress. Cabinet reshuffle will happen soon." He also said that his government was safe. "This is unconstitutional, it is the work of the BJP high command. The government will survive," Kumaraswamy told NDTV.
While coalition is under threat, BJP demanded Kumaraswamy's resignation
On the latest turn of events, Karnataka BJP Chief BS Yeddyurappa said Kumaraswamy has lost majority and should resign. "The BJP will stage protests around Karnataka on Tuesday over the continuance of this minority government," Yeddyurappa said. Earlier this morning, leaders like Murugesh Nirani, Umesh Katti, JC Madhuswamy and K Ratna Prabha arrived at Yeddyurappa's residence to discuss the future course of action.
Notably, BJP, Congress indulged in war of words over crisis
Unsurprisingly, Karnataka's crisis echoed in Lok Sabha with Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury blaming BJP. He said, "There is an attempt to break the Congress. Our MLAs are poached to Mumbai, there is a planned, well-calculated design." However, senior BJP leader Rajnath Singh denied accusations. "Our party does not have a tradition of putting pressure on any other party's lawmaker or legislator," Singh said.
Denying allegations, Singh blamed Rahul Gandhi for "starting" resignation spree
"It is Rahul Gandhi who started the resignation spree in Congress, now one leader after another is quitting. What does the BJP have to do with this?," Singh, the Union Defense Minister, asked.