New Delhi: Refusing to bow down, Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy on Thursday rejected the BJP’s demand for him to step down from the post since his coalition government has been reduced to a ‘minority’ after 16 legislators of the ruling Congress-JD(S) rebelled and quit.

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“Why should I resign? What is the necessity?,” retorted Kumaraswamy in Kannada when asked amid speculation that he would submit his resignation to state Governor Vajubhai Vala after a cabinet meeting in the afternoon.

Clarifying that he would attend the monsoon session of the state Legislative Assembly beginning on Friday, Kumaraswamy said how could the Bharatiya Janata Party make such a demand when its former Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa did not resign after 18 of his legislators revolted against him in 2008-09.

“You should ask him (Yeddyurappa) why he did not resign after 18 BJP legislators went to the then governor and gave a joint letter withdrawing their support to him,” recalled Kumaraswamy.

Ahead of the cabinet meeting, Kumaraswamy met senior Congress leader Gulam Nabi Azad, party’s state in-charge KC Venugopal, Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Siddaramaiah, party’s state president Dinesh Gundu Rao and Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara and discussed how to deal with the crisis gripping their year-old government.

Kumaraswamy’s rejection comes on the day the Supreme Court asked 10 rebel MLAs to submit their resignations to the speaker by 6 PM and ordered the DGP of Karnataka to provide protection to all the rebel MLAs. The top court has adjourned the hearing on the matter for July 12.

Two more Karnataka Congress legislators — MTB Nagaraj and D Sudhakar — on Wednesday submitted their resignations to state Assembly Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar. With Nagaraj and Sudhakar, the number of Congress legislators who resigned since July 1 has gone up to 13, including 10 rebels and suspended party member R. Roshan Baig on Tuesday.

If the resignations are accepted, the party’s strength in the Assembly will reduce to 66 from 79, including the Speaker.

 

With IANS inputs