New Delhi: Senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge on Sunday rubbished media reports which claimed there are possibility of him becoming the chief minister of Karnataka. “I don’t know. Flimsy information are being fed to the press just to break the Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) coalition,” said the veteran leader, a day after 11 MLAs from the Congress- JD(S) combine quit, reducing the 13-month-old government to a minority in the 225-member state Assembly.
“I want this alliance govt to continue. We want that this should go on smoothly. These are all flimsy information being fed to the press just to divide us,” said Kharge.
On being asked about seven-time MLA Ramalinga Reddy, who also submitted his resignation yesterday, Kharge said,”He (Ramalinga Reddy) is a senior leader and a Congress man. For long he has been holding Congress’s fort in Bengaluru. Let us see what are his grievances and what we can do.”
Earlier on Saturday, Karnataka plunged into a major political crisis as 11 MLAs from the ruling Congress-JD(S) submitted their resignation to speaker but as he was not there they handed over their letters to his personal assistant.
The Congress hit out at the BJP and accused it of ‘orchestrating the defections’ in a bid to pull down the government, but asserted that it would survive.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), on the other hand, dismissed the allegations and blamed the resignations on the ‘disgruntlement’ among the ruling alliance lawmakers. “I am going to Tumkur and I will come back at 4 pm. You know about the political developments. Let’s wait and see. I don’t want to answer to what HD Kumaraswamy and Siddaramaiah say. I am nowhere related to this,” said BJP’s Karnataka unit chief BS Yeddyurappa.
Of the total 11 legislators who submitted their resignations in the Assembly Speaker’s office, 8 are from the Congress and 3 from the JD-S.
The major political development came at a time when Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy and his two cabinet colleagues are away in the US and are scheduled to return on Sunday. State Congress President Dinesh Gundu Rao, who has been on a week-long holiday in Europe with his family, is also returning on Sunday.