Bengaluru, July 7, 2019: The Sofitel Mumbai BKC hotel in Mumbai became a hub of political meetings on Sunday as both Congress and BJP approached the 13 rebel MLAs who have been staying there since Saturday night.
BJP MLC Prasad Lad met the MLAs inside the resort after Congress’ Mahendra Singhi interacted with the lawmakers. "I only met Ramesh Jarkiholi. I have not met any other MLAs. I won’t say anything about what I don’t know," Singhi told reporters outside the Mumbai resort. "I know about it only through media. I am busy with the party membership drive," Lad told to the media persons.
Amid ongoing political turmoil in Karnataka, state Congress leader and Water Resources Minister DK Shivakumar met JD(S) chief HD Deve Gowda at his residence on Sunday.
The meeting happened at around 12 noon, a day after the 13 month-old coalition government of their parties slumped into crisis following the resignation of 11 of their legislators from the membership of the state Assembly.
"They’ve (JDS) called a meeting of their party leaders. We’ll also call our party leaders and sort out this issue. I’m confident things will cool down immediately. In the interest of the nation and both parties, we’ve to run the government smoothly. I’m confident MLAs will come back," Shivakumar told reporters after meeting the JDS leadership.
In Bengaluru, Congress workers protested outside party office on Sunday, asking party MLAs to take back their resignations.
Responding to the developments, BJP state chief BS Yeddyurappa on Sunday said, "I am going to Tumkur and I will come back at 4 pm. You know about the political developments. Let’s wait and see. I do not want to answer to what HD Kumaraswamy and Siddaramaiah say. I am nowhere related to this."
While senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge said he wants the alliance government to continue. "We want that this should go on smoothly," he said.
However, JD(S) MLA H Vishwanath on Saturday said that 14 MLAs have jointly tendered resignations to Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar and requested him to accept them. However, the Speaker has not yet accepted the resignations.
After the dramatic turn of events, the state government appears to have fallen into a minority forcing Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy, who is in the US, to cut short his visit. He is expected to fly back here on Sunday.
Congress leader and former chief minister Siddaramaiah late on Saturday evening held a meeting with the party MLAs where he is believed to have discussed among other things the current political situation in the state. The meeting took place at his house.
The strength of the ruling coalition in Karnataka has come down to 105, which is eight short of the half-way mark of 113. Congress MLAs Anand Singh and Ramesh Jarkiholi resigned from the government earlier this week.
Those MLAs, who resigned from the Assembly, include BC Patil, H Vishwanath, Narayan Gowda, S Hebbar, Mahesh Kumatalli, Gopalayya, Ramesh Jharkiholi, and Pratap Gowda Patil.
The dissident MLAs had arrived in Mumbai on late Saturday and are staying in the Sofitel Hotel.