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Karnataka crisis: JD(S)-Cong ministers quit, CM likely to reshuffle cabinet to woo dissident MLAs, BJP keeps close watch

  • Written by Sanjeev Dev Malik
  • Published in National News
Featured Karnataka crisis Karnataka crisis
As the JD(S)-Congress coalition government in Karnataka teetered on the brink of collapse, 
all the ministers quit Monday to give a free hand to Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy to reshuffle his Cabinet to include rebel MLAs while two Independent legislators also withdrew their support.
 
There was no immediate word from the rebel camp on the move to reshuffle the Cabinet in a bid to save the wobbly 13-month-old government, as the action shifted to Goa from Mumbai after 13 dissident MLAs--10 of the Congress and 3 of the JD(S) — submitted their resignations to the Assembly Speaker's office on Saturday triggering a fresh political crisis.
 
The ruling coalition faces the threat of losing its majority if the resignations of the 13 rebel MLAs are accepted. The JD(S)-Congress coalition's total strength after Nagesh and Shankar withdrew support is 116 (Congress-78, JD(S)-37 and BSP-1) besides the Speaker. 
 
With the support of the two independents, the BJP has 107 MLAs in the 224-member House, where the half-way mark is 113. If the resignations of the 13 MLAs are accepted, the coalition's tally will be reduced to 103. The Speaker also has a vote.
 
Siddaramaiah said all Congress ministers voluntarily resigned and have given "full freedom" to the party to reshuffle the ministry. 
 
"All ministers from JDS have submitted their resignations just like the 21 ministers from Congress. Cabinet reshuffle will happen soon," the Chief Minister's Office said in a tweet.
 
Kumaraswamy told reporters he had "no fear" about the happenings and was concentrating on fulfilling his responsibilities. He evaded a direct answer to a question about the resignation of the 13 MLAs and merely said "Let's see". 
 
According to Rajeev Gowda, a state Congress leader from Karnataka, UPA Chairperson and Congress leader Sonia Gandhi said she is "very very confident" that things will be back to normal in a couple of days.
 
 13 Congress-JD(S) MLAs leave for Goa
 
Of the 13 MLAs, 10 — seven of them from the Congress — were holed up in a luxury hotel in Mumbai since Saturday and were joined by H Nagesh, one of the two Independent MLAs and a minister who quit, on Monday. All the legislators were headed to Goa by road. 
 
Sources in Mumbai said the legislators were being accompanied by Mohit Bhartiya, president of the Mumbai BJP Yuva Morcha, According to JD(S) sources in Bengaluru, the party MLAs were being taken to a resort on the outskirts of the city.  
 
The two Independent MLAs--H Nagesh and R Shankar--who were made ministers less than a month ago in a bid to give stability to the government resigned and extended support to the BJP, as resort politics returned to haunt the crisis-hit coalition.
 
Main imaan nahi badal raha: Roshan Baig on possibility of joining BJP
 
Suspended Congress leader Roshan Baig on Monday said that he was hurt by his party, therefore, he will also resign as MLA and join the BJP.
 
In a statement on Monday evening, Roshan Baig said, "I'm hurt by the way Congress has treated me & suspended me as I spoke bitter truth. The state leadership has failed, there is no accountability."
 
"I am not going to either Mumbai or Goa, I am in Bengaluru. I am going to resign from MLA post. They (BJP) are in touch with me," he said.
 
On being asked if he will join BJP, Baig said, "Kyun nahi! Main imaan nahi badal raha. BJP is also a political party, us mein kya buri baat hai," Baig added. 
 
 DK Shivakumar accuses BJP for political crisis
 
Amid an allegation by Congress leader DK Shivakumar that the BJP 'hijacked' Nagesh, all eyes were on Speaker Ramesh Kumar, who is expected to examine on Tuesday the resignations by the 13 MLAs submitted to him on Saturday that triggered the latest political crisis in the state. 
 
Not afraid of developments: Kumaraswamy
 
Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy, who returned from his 10-day long US trip Sunday, put up a brave face, saying he was not afraid of the developments.
 
"The government will survive," he said, alleging that the current situation is the work of the BJP high command.
 
Earlier in the day, JD(S) followed Congress' suit later with nine of its Ministers resigning after Kumaraswamy met Congress leaders who had resigned earlier. 
 
Detailed discussions held with senior leaders: KC Venugopal
 
Fighting hard to save one of its few state governments, Congress took the lead holding the meeting at the residence of Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara, which was attended by senior leaders, including AICC general secretary KC Venugopal. 
 
At the end of the meeting, the party said all its 21 ministers resigned "voluntarily" to enable a reshuffle of the Cabinet and make way for the disgruntled legislators, in an apparent fire fighting exercise. 
 
"For the larger interest of the party, yesterday and today, we had detailed discussions with senior leaders and ministers," Venugopal told reporters. 
 
The meeting was attended by Congress Legislature Party Leader Siddaramaiah, a former chief minister, among others
 
Let's wait and watch, says Yeddyurappa
 
BJP's Karnataka chief BS Yeddyurappa said that the people were observing the situatin, let's see and wait after being asked on his party's stand as Karnataka government hinges on tin thread. 
 
The BJP, on its part, demanded immediate resignation of Kumaraswamy, saying his government was in 'minority'. 
 
"Two independent MLAs met the Governor and gave letters that they will support BJP, now we're 105+2=107. Even when they've lost majority Kumaraswamy is saying that government will smoothly. People are observing everything. Let us see and wait," Yeddyurappa said.
 
Congress accuses BJP of trying to destabilise Karnataka government
 
The Congress accused the BJP of trying to destabilise the state government. "This is the sixth time the BJP has tried to destabilise the coalition government in the state," Venugopal said.
 
However, the Centre denied any role in the political turmoil in Karnataka which echoed in the Lok Sabha where Defence Minister Rajnath Singh took a dig at Rahul Gandhi, saying the resignation drive was started by the Congress President.
 
"Big leaders of Congress are resigning," Rajnath Singh had earlier in the day.

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