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.
The coalition government in Karnataka faced a serious crisis after 13 MLAs submitted their resignations from the membership of the state Assembly on Saturday.
“We 13 MLAs submitted resignation to the Speaker and informed the Governor. We all are together. No question of going back to Bengaluru and withdrawing the resignations under any circumstance,” ST Somashekar said. According to the reports, Congress’s Ramalinga Reddy, Janata Dal (Secular) MLAs Narayan Gowda and Gopalaiah, too, are unwilling to withdraw their resignations.
KARNATAKA CRISIS DAY 2: TOP DEVELOPMENTS
As the Karnataka MLAs remained firm on their decisions to not withdraw their resignations, hectic parleys were held to pacify the rebel legislators to withdraw their resignations and save the 13-month-old coalition government in Karnataka.
Congress’s state in-charge KC Venugopal discussed the crisis with the senior party leaders and also spoke with Ramalinga Reddy, “assured him to address his concerns and advised him to withdraw his resignation”, the allies’ spokesperson Ramesh Babu said.
According to the reports, Ramalinga Reddy is, however, unwilling to withdraw his resignation. He was reportedly even offered to e made a minister in the Karnataka coalition government but “talks failed” to yield, sources said. “He told the Congress leaders that he does not want to take back the resignation,” they said.
Speaking to India Today TV, Ramalinga Reddy said that he is still with the Congress and has only resigned as an MLA, “I’ve given it [resignation]. I’m with Congress for 46 years. I’ve been an MLA and for my growth, the party is responsible. It’s an inevitable situation now. It’s a situation where I was pushed away. I am in Congress even today; I have resigned as MLA,” Reddy said.
JD(S) MLA GT Devegowda, who has asserted that he has not resigned but will do so if the party instructs, has said that he spoke to former JD(S) state chief H Vishwanath and “he told me he will come back to the party”.
GT Devegowda, however, also said that he will have no objection if the Congress leader Siddaramaiah becomes the state chief minister. “If the Congress-JDS Co-ordination Committee decides to make Siddaramaiah the Chief Minister, I will have no objection,” he told reporters.
Meanwhile, a senior Congress, who is in charge of keeping the flock of legislators together, blamed Siddaramaiah for sabotaging the Karnataka government coalition, terming the former chief minister “a thief inside the party”.
On condition of anonymity, the leader said that Siddaramaiah is “playing games” to wreck the Congress-JD(S) coalition for “his prestige”.
Earlier in the day, Union Minister Prahlad Joshi accused the Congress for “plotting drama” so that “greedy” Siddaramaiah is made the chief minister. “This is basically an unholy alliance and Mr. Siddaramaiah is behind it and the Congress party is plotting to throw out CM HD Kumaraswamy by plotting all this drama,” Joshi told ANI. He also denied the Congress’s allegations that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was behind the political crisis in Karnataka, terming them as “utter nonsense”.
As a senior Congress leader called him a “thief inside the party”, Siddaramaiah appealed the party leaders and activists not to speak against the alliance government, Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy or JD(S) supremo HD Deve Gowda. “I appeal to our leaders and activists not to speak against the alliance government, Chief Minister or Deve Gowda. Beware of the quarreling wind news that opponents are raising for the alliance,” the Congress leader said in a tweet.
Earlier in the day, state Congress leader DK Shivakumar met HD Deve Gowda at his residence on Sunday amid the ongoing political turmoil in Karnataka. Chief Minister Kumaraswamy also landed in Bengaluru on Sunday evening and held a meeting with his party legislators and leaders to discuss the crisis.
The Karnataka Congress has called a meeting of the party MLAs on Tuesday (July 9). A circular was issued this afternoon which says that strict action will be taken against those who do not attend the Tuesday meeting. The meeting will start at 9.30 am. Congress leader KC Venugopal and Dinesh Gundu Rao will also be present in the meeting.
(With inputs from agencies)