Bengaluru: A day after 12 Congress and JD(S) MLAs resigned from the state Assembly taking the total number of resignations to 13, triggering a serious crisis in the ruling JD(S)-Congress coalition, crisis managers of the coalition got to work proposing an alternative CM — Malikarjun Kharge — to replace Mr H.D. Kumaraswamy hoping that this would pacify the dissidents but Mr Kharge himself dismissed these reports as ‘flimsy’ and intended to divide the coalition partners.
In fact JD(S) supremo H.D. Deve Gowda had in the past and now too favoured Mr Kharge for CM but it remains to be seen if the veteran Congressman will prefer to head the government of a coalition riven by internal dissent with several MLAs waiting to jump ship.
Sources said if Mr Kharge flatly refuses to take up the post, another alternative has been proposed — home minister and leader of the dominant Lingayat community M.B. Patil be appointed as CM and PWD minister and Mr Kumaraswamy’s brother H.D. Revanna as Deputy CM which, the leaders hope, will help bring the dissidents back to the coalition fold and end the present crisis.
Speaking to reporters at a press conference here, Mr Kharge alleged that the opposition BJP was engineering defections to overthrow governments in states ruled by opposition parties. “They want to weaken regional parties. This is not right. The Centre is directly involved in the political turmoil,” he alleged. Alleging that the legislators were taken away by the BJP in a special flight, Mr Kharge said the Congress is in still in touch with them.”
"We will get a clear picture on July 12 when the assembly session starts," he said. Before the resignation spree, the Congress and JDS together had 118 members in the 224-member state assembly. The 13 resignations bring its numbers down to 105 and the majority mark in the assembly from 113 to 106. The BJP too has 105 legislators in the assembly and the battle for the numbers could go down to the wire if a show of strength is held on the floor of the Assembly....