K'taka Speaker to examine if resignations are genuine
Bengaluru/New Delhi: Sixteen Karnataka MLAs staying at a luxury hotel in Mumbai flew back to Bengaluru Thursday afternoon to meet the Assembly Speaker to submit fresh resignations. The development follows a Supreme Court order allowing ten MLAs, who had approached the court, to meet Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar at 6 pm Thursday and convey again their decision to resign. The top court also asked the speaker to decide on MLAs' resignation during the course of the day.
With the political crisis in the state causing more trouble for the beleaguered Congress-JD(S) alliance in the state, Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy chaired a crucial cabinet meeting to discuss the situation. The state Cabinet meeting resolved to face the situation "bravely" and said it was ready to face a no-confidence motion if moved by the opposition BJP. Earlier Thursday, Kumaraswamy held a meeting with senior Congress leaders DK Shivakumar, Eshwar Khandre, Siddaramaiah, KC Venugopal, Ghulam Nabi Azad and Dinesh Gundu Rao at Kumara Krupa guesthouse in Bengaluru.
Sixteen MLAs, including Housing Minister M T B Nagaraj, have resigned and two Independent legislators — R Shankar and H Nagesh — have withdrawn support to the Congress-JD(S) coalition government. The political battle of attrition continued in the state continued as Assembly Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar is yet to accept the resignations. If the resignations are accepted by the Speaker, the strength of the coalition will fall to 101 compared to the BJP's 105 plus two Independents clearing the way for the BJP to seek a trust vote.
The fast-paced developments in Karnataka have not gone down well with Opposition parties.
Opposition MPs from the Congress, Trinamool Congress, Samajwadi Party, Nationalist Congress Party, Rashtriya Janata Dal and Communist Party of India held a protest in Parliament Complex, alleging that the political crises in Karnataka and Goa was a threat to democracy.
A number of top Congress leaders, including Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Anand Sharma, protested near the Gandhi statue in the complex and shouted slogans. They also carried placards with messages like "Save Democracy" and "Stop bulldozing state governments".
Hitting out at the BJP over defections in the states, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor said, "This is an assault on Constitution and murder of democracy.
"Is the BJP looking to make India a one-party state," he asked.
CPI's D Raja, RJD's Manoj Jha, TMC's Sudeep Bandyopadhyay and Dola Sen, NCP's Majid Memon and SP's Azam Khan were also among the protestors.