Bengaluru, July 6, 2019: The political crisis in Karnataka deepened after reports said that at least 14 legislators from the ruling JDS and Congress coalition government have tendered their resignations to the office of the Speaker on Saturday.
According to reports, at least ten Congress and three Janata Dal-Secular legislators have submitted their resignations to the office of the Speaker in his absence.
Among those who have resigned are - AH Vishwanath, Ramesh Jarkiholi, Somashekar, Pratap Gouda Patil, Gopaliah, BC Patil, Mahesh Kumtahallli, Narayana Gowda, Byrati Basavaraj, Shivram Hebbar and Ramalinga Reddy.
Karnataka Assembly Speaker Ramesh Kumar, who was not present in his office, said, "I was supposed to pick up my daughter that is why I went home, I have told my office to take resignations and give acknowledgement that 11 members resigned. Tomorrow is a leave so I will see them on Monday."
If the resignation of these legislators is accepted, the coalition government’s numbers will fall down to 105 in an Assembly where the majority mark is 116.
"I have come to submit my resignation to the Speaker," Congress legislator Ramalinga Reddy told news agency ANI. "I am not going to blame anyone in the party or the high command. I somewhere feel I was being neglected over some issues. That is why I have taken this decision," he added.
Karnataka Minister DK Shivakumar stepped in to resolve the crisis and took efforts to keep the flock together.
"Nobody will resign. I had come to meet the MLAs," he said after meeting the Congress and JDS legislators at the Speaker’s office. He left with about three to four Congress legislators to try and persuade them to change their mind.
Meanwhile, Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara and Shivakumar have called an emergency meeting of legislators and corporators, according to news agency ANI.
Speaking on the current crisis in Karnataka, BJP leader DV Sadananda Gowda said, ’’They thought it’s high time to come out of that party & resigned from legislators post as they felt that continuing as MLAs was not good in the larger interest of their constituency and the state.’’
The crisis comes at a time when state Congress chief Dinesh Gundu Rao is travelling and Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy also happens to be on a private visit to the US and is expected to arrive in Bengaluru on Sunday.
In the 225-member Karnataka Assembly, the BJP has 105 seats, Congress 78 seats and JD(S) 37 seats. The BSP and the KPJ party have one seat each. There is also an independent and one Speaker. The halfway mark in the house is 108.