Bengaluru: The beleaguered JD(S)-Congress coalition government in Karnataka Tuesday got a breather with state assembly Speaker holding that the resignations of 9 out of 14 rebel MLAs are not in order on a day when another Congress legislator quit the party.
Fighting to save the government, the Congress also sought the intervention of Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar in disqualifying its rebel legislators and accused the BJP of using money power to lure its members. The BJP has denied the charge.
The fate of the 13-month-old JD(S)-Congress government led by Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy is hinged on the Speaker’s decision on the resignation of the 14 MLAs including Shivajinagar MLA R Roshan Baig who joined the bandwagon of dissidents on Tuesday. A total of 13 MLAs – 10 of the Congress and 3 of the JD(S) – submitted their resignation to the Speaker’s office on Saturday triggering a fresh political crisis.
Speaker Kumar told reporters that the resignation letters of 9 out of 14 MLAs of the ruling coalition were not in the prescribed format and he has asked them to submit them properly.
As speculation mounted on the whereabouts of the rebel MLAs after they left a suburban Mumbai hotel Monday night, they returned to the western metropolis from Satara in western Maharashtra. A couple of them are reported to be camping in Bengaluru.
The legislators were earlier on their way to Goa accompanied by a BJP leader, but cut short the trip and returned to Mumbai, sources said. The two Independent MLA-ministers – H Nagesh and R Shankar — who withdrew support on Monday in a further blow to the government are also reported to be in Mumbai.
The Congress rushed senior leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad and B K Hariprasad to Bengaluru to help defuse the crisis amid reports that some more MLAs including Sowmya Reddy, daughter of rebel Congress leader and party veteran Ramalinga Reddy, may join the dissident ranks.