The dissidence-plagued Congress-JD(S) coalition government in Karnataka appeared to have fallen into a minority with 11 of the MLAs belonging to the two parties quitting the Assembly as the crisis deepened for the ruling dispensation.
On day of high drama, eight of the coalition MLAs went to Raj Bhavan to meet Governor Vajubhai Vala, while three of the Congress MLAs have gone to the residence of the Energy Minister D K Shivkumar, who has mounted efforts to wean away the dissidents and persuade them to withdraw their resignations.
Senior Congress leader and former Home Minister, Ramalinga Reddy who resigned went to Shiv Kumar’s residence along with Bhyrathi Basavaraju and P Somshekhar.
The Speaker, who was not in the office, said he had gone to pick up his daughter and had told his office to take the resignations and give acknowledgement. “Tomorrow is a holiday. I will take up the matter on Monday,” he said.
Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, who belongs to the JD(S), is away in the US and is expected to fly back here on Sunday.
Among the MLAs who have gone to the Governor’s house are B C Patil, H Vishvanath, Narayan Gowda, Shivaram Hebbar, Mahesh Kumathalli, Gopalaiah, Ramesh Jarkiholi and Pratap Gowda Patil.
With today’s developments, the strength of the ruling coalition in Karnataka has come down to 105, which is eight short of the half-way mark of 113 for a majority.
“I have come to submit my resignation to the speaker. I do not know about my daughter (Congress MLA Sowmya Reddy). She is an independent woman,” Congress MLA Ramalinga Reddy told ANI.
“I am not going to blame anyone in the party or the high command. I somewhere feel I was being neglected over some issues. That is why I have taken this decision,” he added.
Meanwhile, Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara and Shivakumar have called an emergency meeting of Congress’ Bengaluru MLAs and corporators later today at 5 pm.
Shivakumar, while talking the media, dismissed the developments and claimed hat the coalition government will not break down. “Nobody will resign. I had come to meet them (Eight Congress and three JDS MLAs who had reached the Speaker’s office).”
BJP leader G V L Narasimha Rao, commented on the developments in Karnataka, said, “People of Karnataka are sick of this coalition. We have been noticing the developments. They finally realised that chaos had been created in the state. Not just BJP but even the people of Karnataka will heave a sigh of relief. For the BJP, we have been looking at what has been going on for quite sometime now.”