Karnataka Crisis: BJP Demands CM’s Resignation As 13 MLAs Quit

Video Editor: Abhishek Sharma

As the JD(S)-Congress coalition government in Karnataka teetered on the brink of collapse, most ministers resigned on Monday, 8 July to placate the rebel MLAs.

Karnataka government has witnessed one dramatic twist after another in the past few days.

"“All 21 ministers have resigned voluntarily. And they have full faith in the party to reshuffle the ministry. The speaker has to take the decision. The ball is in the court of the Speaker. The Speaker will take action as per the law.”" - Siddaramaiah, Leader, Congress

The power struggle in the state escalated after 13 rebel MLAs submitted their resignation to the speaker expressing lack of confidence in the Kumaraswamy-led Congress-JD(s) government

Of the 13 MLAs, 10 of them – including seven from Congress – were holed up in a luxury hotel in Mumbai since Saturday and were joined by H Nagesh, one of the two Independent MLAs and a minister who quit, on Monday. All the legislators were headed to Goa by road.

"“He called me personally through his own telephone and through his family members and friends to say that he has been taken and he asked me to rush to the airport. I rushed from here, you saw that. I rushed to the airport along with my MLAs but by the time the plane had taken off.”" - DK Shivakumar Congress MLA

The BJP, meanwhile, didn't miss the opportunity to immediately demand Kumaraswamy's resignation, saying his government was in 'minority'.

"“14-15 MLAs have resigned from the Congress-JD(s) alliance. And this government has almost become a minority government. So I only insist Kumaraswamy to resign from chief minister’s post immediately and allow the BJP to form the government.”" - Jagadish Shettar, Leader, BJP

Also Read: K’taka Cong Urges Speaker to Disqualify MLAs ‘Colluding With BJP’

And that’s not all..

Amid the crisis, allegation by Congress leader D K Shivakumar that the BJP 'hijacked' Nagesh, all eyes were on Speaker Ramesh Kumar, who is expected to examine on Tuesday the resignations by the 13 MLAs submitted to him on Saturday that triggered the latest political crisis in the state.

The ruling coalition faces the threat of losing its majority if the resignations of the 13 rebel MLAs are accepted.

The JD(S)-Congress coalition's total strength after Nagesh and Shankar withdrew support is 116 (Congress-78, JD(S)-37 and BSP-1) besides the Speaker.

With the support of the two independents, the BJP has 107 MLAs in the 224-member House, where the half-way mark is 113. If the resignations of the 13 MLAs are accepted, the coalition's tally will be reduced to 103. The Speaker also has a vote.

However, the Congress accused the BJP of trying to destabilise the state government.

"This is the sixth time the BJP has tried to destabilise the coalition government in the state," Venugopal said.

Karnataka CM Kumaraswamy reassured that the “Issue will resolve. Don’t worry. It (the government) will run, it will run.”

The issue even resonated in Lok Sabha where Defence Minister Rajnath Singh took a jibe at Rahul Gandhi, saying the resignation drive was started by the Congress President.

"“We have nothing to do with whatever is happening in Karnataka. Our party does not put pressure on any other party’s lawmaker or legislator. It is Rahul Gandhi who started the resignation spree.”" - Rajnath Singh, Defence Minister

(With inputs from PTI)

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