The Congress-JD(S) coalition government in Karnataka is going through a severe crisis. After an independent MLA and minister, H Nagesh quit the alliance today, 21 Congress MLAs have also submitted their resignation to the party chief to placate the 14 rebel MLAs who withdrew their support to the Congress-JD(S) coalition on Saturday.
On Saturday, the Congress-JDS coalition was pushed to the edge after 13 Congress and JD(S) MLAs submitted their resignations bringing its number to 105, at par with the BJP, in the 224-member Assembly, which is eight short of the half-way mark of 113. In an attempt to save the sinking ship, 10 MLAs were reportedly lodged at the Sofitel hotel, Mumbai, after 13 MLAs of the Congress-JD(S) submitted their resignations on Saturday.
Reportedly, Bangalore Rural MP and senior Congress leader DK Suresh speaking to media had informed earlier in the day, that all Congress ministers are set to resign from the coalition amidst speculations that a new government may be formed after the resignation of 14 Congress-JD(S) MLAs.
Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara had called for a breakfast meeting among all Congress ministers in the Karnataka government and there was a possibility that some of them may be asked to step down to make way for some or all of the dissenting MLAs to get ministerial berths. Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy was also scheduled to attend the breakfast meeting which was held at Parameshwara’s residence.
While the political mudslinging is in full swing, Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, who had gone to the United States on a personal visit had to rush back after a series of resignation threatened the existence of his government. HD Kumaraswamy returned back to Bangalore on Sunday and held a series of meetings with leaders of his party JD(S) and its ally Congress in a bid to rescue the coalition government.
The coalition has 119 members in the 224-member assembly, including the 14 rebel MLAs and the speaker. If these resignations are accepted by the speaker, the alliance’s strength will drop to 104 and the Assembly’s strength will be 210. The BJP, which has 105 MLAs, will then be just one legislator short of a majority.