HDK govt loses majority; 13 MLAs quit

HDK govt loses majority; 13 MLAs quit
Dissident MLAs from JD(S) and Congress meet Karnataka Governor Vajuibhai Vala, Saturday.
BENGALURU, JUL 6 | Publish Date: 7/6/2019 11:49:50 AM IST

The JD(S)-Congress government plunged into a crisis on Saturday with 13 MLAs of the H.D. Kumaraswamy led alliance submitting their resignation to the Speaker. The ruling coalition, which has 118 members, faces the risk of losing majority in the 224-member Assembly if the resignations are accepted.

The crisis, which had been brewing ever since the BJP swept the parliamentary polls in the state, deepened as the group of MLAs reached the Speaker’s office to put in their papers and later met Governor Vajubhai Vala at the Raj Bhavan.

“Fourteen MLAs from Congress and JD(S), including Anand Singh, have submitted resignation from the Assembly to the Speaker,” JD(S) MLA A H Vishwanath said after meeting the Governor. 

However, Assembly secretariat sources said a total of 13 MLAs have put in their papers, including Singh who submitted his resignation to the Speaker earlier this week.

Vishwanath accused the coalition government led by chief minister H.D. Kumaraswamy of failing in its duty and denied that the BJP was behind the revolt.

“The government failed to coordinate with the MLAs...and take them along. It has also failed to live up to the expectations of the people,” he said.

On the charge that the BJP was trying to poach MLAs to destabilise the government through “Operation Lotus”, he said it is “a figment of your imagination”. “There is no BJP angle to it. We are all seniors. No operation can happen...we are resigning voluntarily against the apathy of the government,” he said.

The JD(S)-Congress coalition’s total strength, including those who have put in their papers, is 118 (Congress-78, JD(S)-37, BSP-1 and Independents-2), besides the Speaker. The BJP has 105 MLAs in the House.

 Assembly Speaker Ramesh Kumar, who was not in his office when the legislators went there Saturday, said “whether the government will fall or survive” would be decided “in the Assembly”.

 Later, Congress MLA Munirathna (Rajarajeshwari Nagar) put in his papers, the Assembly secretariat sources said. He was also seen with the rebel MLAs outside the Raj Bhavan.

As a last-ditch bid, Congress’s “trouble shooter” and Minister D K Shivakumar met the legislators and tried to convince them.

BJP ready to form govt, says Sadananda

With the ruling Congress-JD(S) government in Karnataka staring at a crisis, the BJP is ready to form the government if the party gets an invite from the governor.

“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,” senior BJP leader DV Sadananda Gowda said on being asked if the BJP will form government in Karnataka. The BJP welcomed the political development in the state.

Cong attacks Modi 

Congress on Saturday launched a blistering attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP, saying that the party had orchestrated the resignations of nearly a dozen legislators in Karnataka, spelling fresh trouble for the ruling coalition.

“MODI means Mischievously Orchestrated Defections in India,” Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala told journalists, referencing the Prime Minister’s last name and borrowing his knack for coining acronyms.

“It’s very unfortunate that the BJP is trying to bring down a democratically elected government with offers of money and power. Democracy is being denigrated in broad daylight,” the Congress leader said.


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