Even as the counting of votes for the by-elections in Karnataka is underway, senior Congress leader Siddaramaiah on Monday announced his resignation as the legislative party leader.
In a press conference, Siddaramaiah, a former chief minister, said that the party's expectations in the bypolls had not meet been met and he was resigning as the leader of the of the legislative party.
"Our expectation was that voters would teach a lesson to those who went against the tenets of democracy. But our expectation was not fulfilled. We accept the people's mandate," he said.
According to the latest inputs, the Bharatiya Janata Party has won 10 and is leading in two of the 15 Assembly seats which went to bypolls last week. The Congress, which won 12 of those 15 seats in the 2018 Assembly polls, won only in two segments — Hunasuru and Shivajinagar — while its former ally the JD(S) trailed in all the 12 seats it contested.
"As leader of the legislative party, I need to uphold certain principles of democracy. I am resigning as the Leader of Opposition in the Legislature. I am sending my resignation to interim party president Sonia Gandhi and also sending a copy to AICC general secretary KC Venugopal and state Congress president Dinesh Gundu Rao," he told reporters during the brief press briefing.
The BJP needed to win at least six of the 15 seats to remain in a majority in the 225-member Assembly (including the Speaker, who has a casting vote), which would still have two vacant seats: Maski and RR Nagar.
In the Assembly with the current strength of 208 after the disqualifications, the BJP has 105 MLAs (including an Independent), the Congress 66 and the JD(S) has 34 MLAs. There is also one BSP member, a nominated member and the Speaker.
The bypolls were held to fill the vacancies caused by the disqualification of 17 rebel Congress and JD(S) MLAs, whose revolt led to the collapse of the 14-month-old HD Kumaraswamy-led coalition government in July and paved the way for the BJP to come to power.
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Updated Date: Dec 09, 2019 16:43:52 IST