Bengaluru: The ruling Congress-JD(S) coalition’s attempts to make some of the rebel MLAs withdraw their resignations and save the H.D. Kumaraswamy government when the Chief Minister seeks a trust vote in the state Assembly, suffered a big blow on Sunday with housing minister M.T.B. Nagaraj, who had given hints on Saturday that he would withdraw his resignation, flying off to Mumbai to join the other rebels.
Mr M.T.B. Nagaraj was seen off at HAL airport by senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader R. Ashok clearly exposing a BJP hand in the ongoing resignation episode. He later announced at a joint press conference addressed by the rebel MLAs camping in Mumbai that there was no question of withdrawing his resignation and that he was "firm" on the decision (to quit the Assembly.
With the other rebel MLAs too categorically stating at the Mumbai press conference that they will not withdraw their resignations nor will they participate in the ongoing monsoon session of the Karnataka Legislature, Congress and JD(S) leaders are fast losing hope of saving the government.
The coalition leaders were confident that Mr Nagaraj would use his 'good offices' to persuade the rebels particularly Chikkaballapura MLA Dr K. Sudhakar to rescind their decision to resign which is unlikely to happen now.
All eyes are now on Speaker K.R. Ramesh Kumar who is likely to fix a date on Monday for the trust vote which Mr Kumarawamy wants to seek in the Assembly. Sources said Mr Kumaraswmay may prefer to move the confidence motion on Wednesday after the Supreme Court hearing on the resignations of the MLAs and the disqualification petition against them while the BJP is demanding that the trust vote be moved on Monday itself as the government has lost its majority.
In the 224 member House, the BJP has 105 MLAs and the support of 2 Independents while the Congress-JD(S) coalition has seen its strength slipping from 118 to 100 (excluding the Speaker) after the resignation of 16 Congress and JD(S) MLAs and the withdrawal of support by the 2 Independents.
The monsoon session of the state Assembly will reconvene on Monday after a two-day break.
Cong leaders: Enough of JD(S), let’s sit in Oppn
Bengaluru: With Housing Minister, M.T.B. Nagaraj first hinting at withdrawing his resignation and then flying off to Mumbai to join the rebels, Congress legislators staying at a hotel here feel there is no point in trying to save the coalition government and it would be better for the party to sit in the opposition after breaking with JD(S). A senior leader even recalled Nagaraj's criticism of PWD Minister H.D. Revanna for interfering in his ministry's affairs....