Karnataka crisis: BJP leaders stage 'dharna' at Vidhana Soudha, claim Kumaraswamy has lost majority, demand resignation

Bengaluru: The BJP in Karnataka staged a 'dharna' at the Vidhana Soudha on Wednesday, demanding the resignation of Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, who they claim has lost majority in the House after the resignation of 14 MLAs of the ruling Congress-JD(S) alliance.

Several state BJP leaders, including former deputy chief minister K S Eshwarappa, took part in the protest led by state president B S Yeddyurappa in front of the Gandhi statue at the Vidhana Soudha.

Protesters raised slogans like "Down, down to the government that has lost the majority, down to CM who wants to stick on to the chair."

 Karnataka crisis: BJP leaders stage dharna at Vidhana Soudha, claim Kumaraswamy has lost majority, demand resignation

BJP members staging a 'dharna' outside Vidhana Soudha. Twitter/ANI

Yeddyurappa and other leaders are likely to meet Governor Vajubhai Vala at Raj Bhavan later in the day to him to dismiss the coalition government that has lost majority, BJP leaders said.
A delegation of BJP leaders is also expected to meet Speaker Ramesh Kumar and apprise him on the situation, they added.

The former chief minister has been holding a series of meetings with party leaders for the last couple of days regarding the ongoing political developments and BJP's plan of action.

During the protest, Yeddyurappa asked Kumaraswamy to resign immediately and make way for BJP to form the government.

"The assembly session starts from July 12. How will you have the session with no majority Mr Kumaraswamy?" he asked, adding that Kumaraswamy should voluntarily resign.

"We expected your father and former prime minister H D Deve Gowda will advice (you to resign)," Yeddyurappa said.

Pointing out that Congress-JD(S) MLAs who have resigned have moved the Supreme Court, he said he expected a judgement tomorrow.

The BJP's protest comes a day after Congress leaders, including AICC general secretary K C Venugopal and Congress Legislature Party leader Siddaramaiah staged a 'dharna' in front of the Gandhi statue, accusing the party of trying to destabilise the government by undemocratic means, using money and political power.

Earlier in the day, Yeddyurappa told reporters he was unable to understand why the speaker was delaying the process of accepting the resignations.

"If the resignation is not in format, MLAs will come and give it in correct format. That's another matter," he said.

Noting that Kumar was unanimously elected speaker and the BJP has trust in him, Yeddyurappa said he should hear legal experts and take immediate action in accordance with law.

To a query on the speaker's reported visit to the residence of senior advocate along with a minister, the senior BJP leader said Kumar could have instead called him to his office.

The beleaguered JD(S)-Congress coalition government on Tuesday got a breather with the speaker holding that the resignations of nine out of 14 rebel MLAs are not in order.

Kumar said only five were in the prescribed format and asked them to appear before him on 12 and 15 July.

Yeddyurappa also questioned the speaker's silence on Shivakumar allegedly tearing the resignation letter of an MLA at the Speakers Chambers when 12 MLAS had gone to submit their resignation on Saturday.

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On Shivakumar attempting to reach out to MLAs staying at a hotel in Mumbai, Yeddyurappa said, "We have nothing to do with it. It is a matter between Shivakumar and MLAs who are there."

In a blow to the Kumaraswamy led Congress-JD(S) government, the number of coalition MLAs who have resigned has risen to 14 with the addition of R Roshan Baig on Tuesday.

Of the 14 MLAs, 11 are from Congress and three from JD(S).

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

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

With the support of the two independents, who Monday resigned from the ministry, the BJP has 107 MLAs in the 224 member House, where the half-way mark is 113.

If the resignations of the 14 MLAs are accepted, the coalition's tally will be reduced to 102.

The speaker also has a vote.

The Monsoon session of Karnataka Legislature will begin from 12 July.

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Updated Date: Jul 10, 2019 15:59:38 IST