Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy, whose fate as the head of state is mired with uncertainty, made it clear on Thursday that he won't resign.
Kumaraswamy was replying to BJP leader and former Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa, who has been asking him to step down after the coalition government was rocked by several resignations.
Earlier too, Kumaraswamy expressed confidence that his government would survive.
Context: Kumaraswamy's government is staring at oblivion, courtesy mass resignations
Kumaraswamy was crowned as CM of Karnataka in May 2018, after Congress and JD(S) stitched a post-poll alliance.
The coalition had always been rocky with Kumaraswamy telling once that he was "swallowing poison" for the "good of the world".
While the allies didn't have the best understanding, the resignations of 18 MLAs since last week, has raised questions on its survival.
"What is the necessity for me to resign now?"
As the coalition is wobbling, BJP (which emerged as the single largest party in polls) said Kumaraswamy should resign. Led by Yeddyurappa, who was the BJP's CM candidate, BJP also staged protests.
Giving a sharp response to Yeddyurappa, Kumaraswamy asked what is the necessity for him to resign.
"In 2008- 2009, 18 MLAs had rebelled against BS Yeddyurappa. Did he resign?" he added.
In 2009, Yeddyurappa also faced something similar
Kumaraswamy was referring to the 2009 rebellion which spelled trouble for Yeddyurappa, who was CM then.
At the time, 43 legislators had handed over their resignations to mining baron Janardhana Reddy and then-Speaker Jagadish Shettar. To placate them, Yeddyurappa promised a cabinet reshuffle.
Months later, 18 MLAs withdrew support from his government. Back then, Kumaraswamy was accused of bringing the rebel MLAs together.
As crisis looms, speaker tried to save the coalition
As the coalition is facing mounting trouble, speaker KR Ramesh emerged as a savior of sorts.
Ramesh hasn't accepted the resignations of the legislators, prompting 10 of them to approach the Supreme Court.
The top court on Thursday directed the rebel MLAs to meet Ramesh at 6 PM and re-submit their resignations. Karnataka's DGP was also ordered to provide protection to them.
Acting on SC's order, rebel MLAs returned to Bengaluru
After SC gave its verdict, Ramesh sought more time to review the resignations, but his plea was denied.
Meanwhile, the rebel MLAs, who were staying at a luxury hotel in Mumbai, flew back to Bengaluru.
Congress MLA ST Somashekar said the rebels support Rahul Gandhi, but the coalition government didn't keep its promise. "We didn't take this decision all of a sudden," he added.
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Meanwhile, Sonia and Rahul protested outside Parliament to "Save Democracy"
On a related note, UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul staged a protest outside Parliament after Congress lost most of its MLAs in Goa, and is battling for breath in Karnataka. The protesters shouted "Save Democracy" while blaming BJP for the crisis.