New Delhi: In a massive political showdown on Saturday, as many as 11 Congress-JD(S) MLAs resigned from their respective Karnataka Assembly segments and were soon ferried to Mumbai, while Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy scurried to head back to India from the United States.
Eight from the Congress and three from the Janata Dal (Secular) tendered their resignation to the Karnataka Assembly speaker and largely reasoned being ‘ignored’ in the coalition government.
The eight Congress MLAs who resigned are Pratapgauda Patil (Maski), B.C. Patil (Hirekerur), Ramesh Jarkiholi (Gokak), Shivram Hebbar (Yellapur) Mahesh Kumatahalli (Athani), Ramalinga Reddy (BTM Layout), S.T Somashekar (Yeshvantpur) and S.N. Subba Reddy (KGF in Kolar). The three JD-S MLAs who quit are Vishwanath (Hunsur), N. Narayana Gowda (K.R. Pete) and Gopalaiah (Mahalakshmim).
In between the flying resignations came Karnataka BJP leader and former Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa’s comments, assuring that he or his party had no part of play in the deepening crisis that the Karnataka government finds itself in.
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.
HERE ARE THE TOP 10 DEVELOPMENTS FROM KARNATAKA CRISIS:
- All rebel 11 MLAs, eight from Congress and three from the JD(S) are currently stationed at Mumbai’s Sofitel Hotel, where they were ferried from Bengaluru after they met Governor Vajubhai Vala at the Raj Bhavan.
- Senior Congress leaders met in the national capital in the evening, purportedly to discuss the crisis developing in Karnataka. Rahul Gandhi is reported to have skipped this meet. Ahead of the meeting, senior party leader and spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala dropped a bomb when he said that MODI means ‘‘Mischievously Orchestrated Defections in India’. Surjewala used the acronym while speaking on how 11 Congress-JD(S) MLAs submitted resignations from their respective Assembly segments. His comments gave way to speculations that this mass abdication was orchestrated by a national party under ‘Kamala operation’, a plan to dislodge certain state governments.
- Addressing the media, BS Yeddyurappa reiterated that he or his party in no way acted as catalysts to the ongoing crisis in Karnataka government. He was quoted, “We are closely watching political developments in Karnataka. One thing I can say is that people are not ready for elections. Elections are a burden on state exchequer. If situation arises we’ll definitely explore constitutional provisions to form next government.”
- Meanwhile, JD(S) leaders were confident that all rebel MLAs will be back. HK Kumaraswamy, Karnataka JDS chief claimed, “They’ve put their resignations at office of Speaker, he’ll take decision at an appropriate time. At present the government is safe, it’s safe now. They will come back to us, no one will go.”
- On the other hand, Congress veteran Mallikarjun Kharge said, “Many of the MLAs who want to leave Congress have been associated with the party for a long time. I’ve faith that they’ll stay with us and support the party. I’m going to Bengaluru. I’ll make further comments after looking at the ground situation there.”
- DV Sadananda Gowda, Senior Karnataka BJP leader avowed that BS Yeddyurappa will be the chief minister if a new government is formed in Karnataka.
- Congress leader and Karnataka minister DK Shivakumar on Saturday tore resignations of some MLAs in rage and later when prodded by the media on the same said, “Why should I not? Let them file a complaint, if they want to put me behind the bars, I’m ready. I have taken a very big risk.”
- Before the resignations, the ruling coalition had 118 MLAs, five more than the required majority mark of 113. They included 78 MLAs of the Congress (excluding the Speaker), 37 of the JD(S), one each from the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and regional outfit Karnataka Pragnyavantha Janata Party (KPJP) and an Independent. The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has 105 legislators.