Karnataka coalition govt in crisis as 13 MLAs of Congress, JD(S) submit resignations
The JD(S)-Congress coalition government in Karnataka plunged into a crisis on Saturday, with 13 MLAs of the alliance submitting their resignation to Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar.
The Congress accused the BJP of trying to topple the coalition government by "buying" MLAs, but the BJP dismissed the allegations saying it had nothing to do with the resignations and blamed the internal feud within the ruling combine for the political instability in the state.
If Kumar accepts the resignations, the coalition's number will drop down to 105 from 118 in the 224-member Assembly, where the majority mark is 113. The current strength of BJP is also at 105.
The political crisis, which had been brewing ever since the BJP swept the parliamentary polls in the state, deepened as the group of MLAs reached the Speaker's office to put in their papers and later met Governor Vajubhai Vala at the Raj Bhavan on Saturday.
"Fourteen MLAs from Congress and JD(S), including Anand Singh, have submitted resignation from the Assembly to the Speaker," JD(S) MLA AH Vishwanath said after meeting the Governor.
However, Assembly secretariat sources said 13 MLAs have put in their papers, including Singh who submitted his resignation to the Speaker earlier this week.
The fresh threat to the 13-month-old government came at a time when Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy was in the US. He is expected to return to Bengaluru on Sunday.
Both the JD(S) and the Congress have been plagued by dissension over allocation of ministerial berths and distribution of Lok Sabha seats. The cracks became deeper after the BJP swept the Lok Sabha polls in the state.
Ten of the MLAs who resigned flew by a chartered flight to Mumbai later in the evening and have been lodged at a hotel there, sources close to them said, adding that they may return on Tuesday.
Kumar, who was not in his office when the rebel legislators went there, said "whether the government will fall or survive" would be decided "in the Assembly".
The Assembly session will begin on 12 July. AICC general secretary KC Venugopal rushed to the city to chart out the Congress' next course of action, even as Congress Legislature Party chief Siddaramaiah and other senior leaders held a series of meetings.
The MLAs, who submitted resignation to Speaker's office Saturday include Ramesh Jarkiholi (Gokak), Pratap Gowda Patil (Maski), Shivram Hebbar (Yellapur), Mahesh Kumathalli (Athani), BC Patil (Hirekerur), Byrati Basavaraj (K R Puram), ST Soma Shekar (Yashwanthpur) and Ramalinga Reddy (BTM Layout) of the Congress.
Amarinder Singh recommends young leader with 'pan-India appeal' as Rahul Gandhi's replacement
Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh on Saturday said only a young leader should replace Rahul Gandhi as the Congress president, asserting that it would help the grand old party bounce back. He said a young leader with a forward-looking approach would "galvanise" the rank and file of the party after the "unfortunate" resignation of Rahul.
Singh urged the Congress Working Committee (CWC) to look for Rahul's replacement in a charismatic "Gen-Next" leader, who can "enthuse" people with his "pan-India appeal and grassroots presence". "Rahul had shown the way for the youth leadership to take the party's reins and steer it to greater heights," Singh said, adding that with India leading the world in terms of the largest youth population, it was natural that a young leader would understand and relate to the desires and aspirations of the people more effectively. "Any change in the party leadership must reflect India's societal reality, with 65 percent of its population under 35," asserted the Punjab chief minister.
Singh said Rahul's decision to stand firm on his resignation was a major disappointment and setback for the party, from which it could recover only under the dynamic leadership of another young leader. "Only a youth leader could revive the grand old party," he said, urging the Congress leadership to keep the energy, infused by Rahul, going. "The Congress needs young blood to galvanise its rank and file, and once again make it India's preferred and only choice," said the chief minister, in a statement issued on Saturday.
16 injured in clashes between BJP workers, police in West Bengal's Asansol
Asansol remained tensed for the second consecutive day on Saturday after 16 people were injured in a clash between BJP supporters and police officials on Saturday.
A large contingent of the police force has been deployed in the area and raids are also being conducted to arrest the trouble makers. Thirteen party workers were arrested, during a protest outside Asansol Municipal Corporation office over the 'cut money' issue.
Asansol Mayor and TMC leader J Tiwari said, "They had come with the intention to attack but could not even manage to touch the gate of the corporation." Calling Asansol MP and Union Minister Babul Supriyo BJP's monkey, Tiwari said his party has the capability to keep "monkeys like Supriyo caged".
India take on Tajikistan in opening match of 2019 Intercontinental Cup
Defending champions India will be up against 120-ranked Tajikistan in the first match at the TransStadia Arena in Ahmedabad on Sunday. This will be India's second tournament under new coach Igor Stimac and will help the Croatian coach gauge his side ahead of the FIFA World Cup qualifiers which begin in September.
Google testing play button in Chrome toolbar
It looks like Google is experimenting with a play button in its developer browser called Canary where nightly or unstable features are tested. The play button will highlight whatever video is playing in the browser, even if it's on a different tab. It's called Global Media Controls and it has to be enabled manually in Canary. This feature could be a lifesaver when there are numerous tabs open and you can't find which one of them is playing the video.