K’taka crisis: Cong-JDS may revamp cabinet

BENGALURU, JUL 7 (AGENCIES) | Publish Date: 7/7/2019 11:39:19 AM IST

The Congress and JD(S) may go in for a complete revamp of the Karnataka cabinet to give ministerial berths to disgruntled MLAs who have been holed up at a Mumbai hotel following their resignations on Saturday.

Sources said negotiations with the rebel MLAs are still on and that several leaders have been expressing dissatisfaction with HD Kumaraswamy leading the coalition.

While several Maharashtra BJP leaders have been spotted at the hotel housing the rebel MLAs in Mumbai, back in Bengaluru, JD(S) patriarch Deve Gowda held a crucial meeting with senior leaders of his party and the Congress, including DK Shivakumar. After the meeting Shivakumar, known as the troubleshooter for the Congress, claimed the situation will cool down soon.

Karnataka had plunged into a major political crisis on Saturday as 13 MLAs from the ruling Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) combine quit, reducing the 13-month-old government to a minority in the 225-member state Assembly.

The Congress hit out at the BJP for “orchestrating the defections” in a bid to pull down the government, but asserted that it would survive. The BJP, however, blamed the resignations on the “disgruntlement” among the ruling alliance lawmakers.

Of the 13 legislators who submitted their resignations in the Assembly Speaker’s office, 10 are from the Congress and 3 from the JD(S).

Meanwhile, former Karnataka chief minister and Congress leader Siddaramaiah Sunday evening warned party workers to not speak against JD (S) leader Deve Gowda and CM Kumaraswamy. 

He asked them to beware of any attempts by the opposition BJP to try and create rift in the coalition. 

Gowda arrived at JDS office for party legislature meeting. On the other hand, JDS workers assembled outside party headquarters in Bengaluru and demanded that Kumaraswamy shouldn’t resign amid crisis.

Rebel MLAs refuse to withdraw resignations

The political drama unfolding in Karnataka deepened after a rebel Congress MLA said that all the dissenting lawmakers are firm on their resignations. Cooped up in a Mumbai hotel, Karnataka Congress MLA ST Somashekar said that there was no question of 13 MLAs going back to Bengaluru and withdrawing the resignations.

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