Congress-JD(S) combo in Karnataka in turmoil as 11 MLAs resign

The Karnataka assembly has 224-legislators comprising and the ruling coalition needs 113 members to be in the government.

Bengaluru: The rickety coalition between the Congress and the Janata Dal Secular in Karnataka was thrown into further turmoil on Saturday when Speaker Ramesh Kumar confirmed that 11 legislators of the ruling alliance had put in their papers.

Eight Congress and three JDS lawmakers met the Assembly Speaker on Saturday to resign. Speaker Ramesh Kumar said, "I have told my office to acknowledge the 11 resignations. Tomorrow is a leave, so I will see them on Monday."

Karnataka Congress in-charge, K C Venugopal met Karnataka Congress Legislature Party leader Siddaramaiah in Bengaluru to discuss the crisis.

Venugopal held meeting with Siddaramaiah, KPCC Working President Eashwar Khandre, Karnataka Minister and Congress leader D K Shivakumar, D K Suresh and other leaders after the resignations.

Eleven Karnataka Congress-JDS MLAs Mahesh Kumathalli, B C Patil, Ramesh Jarkiholi, Shivaram Hebbar, H. Vishwanath, Gopalaiah, Byrathi Basavaraj, Narayana Gowda, Munirathna, S.T. Somashekar and Pratap Gowda Patil met the Governor at the Raj Bhavan in Bengaluru.

Photo: Rebel Cong-JDS MLAs met Governor Vajubhai Vala at his office in Bengaluru. (Photo: ANI)Photo: Rebel Cong-JDS MLAs met Governor Vajubhai Vala at his office in Bengaluru. (Photo: ANI)

H Vishwanath of the JD(S) said, "In Congress-JD (S) coalition government in Karnataka, 14 MLAs have resigned against the Government till now, We also met the Governor. We wrote to the speaker to accept our resignation. Coalition Government did not meet the expectations of the people of Karnataka."Photo: Rebel JD(S) MLA H S VishwanathPhoto: Rebel JD(S) MLA H S Vishwanath (Photo: ANI)

On resignations, Karnataka JDS chief H K Kumaraswamy said, "They have put their resignations at the office of Speaker, he will take the decision at an appropriate time. At present the government is safe. They will come back to us, no one will go."

Three Karnataka Congress MLAs S.T. Somashekar, Byrathi Basavaraj and Munirathna, who had resigned, want former Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah to be made the Chief Minister.

Former Prime Minister and JDS chief H D Deve Gowda said, "I am not going to react to anything, I have not spoken anything to anybody. I am only holding my party workers meeting just to prepare ourselves for the corporation polls."

Former PM and JDS chief H D Dece Gowda. (Photo: ANI)Former PM and JDS chief H D Dece Gowda. (Photo: ANI)

The Karnataka Assembly has 224 legislators comprising 79 of the Congress, 37 of the JDS and 105 of the BJP. The ruling coalition needs 113 members to be in the government.

Congress-JDS MLAs B C Patil, H Vishvanath, Narayan Gowda, Shivaram Hebbar, Mahesh Kumathalli, Gopalaiah, Ramesh Jarkiholi and Pratap Gowda Patil submitted their resignations to the Speaker's secretary.

"I have come to submit my resignation," Congress legislator Ramalinga Reddy told news agency ANI. "I am not going to blame anyone in the party or the high command. I felt neglected over some issues. That is why I have taken this decision," he added.

After the resignations, the JDS-Congress coalition's strength falls to 105. The coalition has the support of an independent legislator and a BSP MLA.

D K Shivakumar met Congress MLAs Ramalinga Reddy, S.T. Somashekar and Byrathi Basavaraj at his official residence.

News agency ANI quoted Karnataka BJP leader and former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa, "People are watching the way D K Shivakumar is behaving. He tore resignation letters of some of the MLAs inside the Speaker's office, who had gone to resign, it is condemnable."

B.S. YeddyurappaFormer chief minister B.S. Yeddyurappa (Photo: File)

On reports that he tore the resignation letters of some of the MLAs, Shivkumar said, "Why should I not? Let them file a complaint, if they want to put me behind the bars, I'm ready. I have taken a very big risk."

Former Chief Minister and Union Minister D Sadananda Gowda, on being asked if BJP will form government in Karnataka, said, "Governor is the supreme authority, as per the constitutional mandate if he calls us, certainly we are ready to form the government. We are the single largest party, we have got 105 people with us."

Gowda further said, "Yeddyurappa will be the Chief Minister if a new Government is formed (in Karnataka)."

Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara and Shivakumar had called an emergency meeting of legislators and corporators on Saturday, news agency ANI reported.

The crisis comes at a time when state Congress chief Dinesh Gundu Rao is travelling and Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy is on a private visit to the United States.

Earlier, Shivakumar had said the coalition would continue. "Nobody will resign. I have met them," the Congress leader told reporters.

On Monday, two Congress legislators Anand Singh and Ramesh Jarkiholi had resigned bringing the ruling JDS-Congress coalition down to 116.

Anand Singh resigned over a land deal between the state government and JSW Steel in his home district of Ballari, The Indian Express reported.

Jarkiholi gave no reason in his resignation letter. He had distanced himself from the party ever since he was dropped from the cabinet. He skipped party meetings and held meetings with other MLAs believed to be unhappy with the Congress.

Yeddyurappa has maintained his party has nothing to do with the resignations. He said if the government falls, the BJP should be invited to form one.

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