Karnataka LIVE News and updates: Addressing the media, Karnataka BJP chief BS Yeddyurappa said, 'It's time for HD Kumaraswamy to resign. All 105 MLAs will protest tomorrow (Wednesday) by 11 am at the Gandhi Statue in Vidhana Soudha to demand his resignation.'
Karnataka LATEST news and updates: Addressing the media, Karnataka BJP chief BS Yeddyurappa said, "It's time for HD Kumaraswamy to resign. All 105 MLAs will protest tomorrow (Wednesday) by 11 am at the Gandhi Statue in Vidhana Soudha to demand his resignation."
Sources told ANI that Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy has suggested JD(S) MLAs to be at Prestige Golfshire Club in Bengaluru for at least four days. The MLAs were moved to the club on Monday in a bid to keep the flock together. The JD(S) had reportedly booked rooms at a resort in Kodagu, but later changed the venue.
JD(S) accused the BJP of spending Rs 1,000 crore to purchase MLAs in Karnataka, further saying that the amount was almost 10 percent of the annual state budget of Mizoram, Manipur, and Sikkim.
Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar said the resignation letters of eight out of 13 MLAs are not in proper format. The Speaker also said that Independent candidates H Nagesh and R Shankar have said they want to support BJP in their resignation letters (from the cabinet).
The interference of the senior members of the HD Deve Gowda family had riled the disgruntled legislators, according to party sources who requested anonymity. No merit, no party loyalty or individual capacity to conduct the functions of the government mattered; rather it was all done on the directions of one family, they have alleged.
Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad and BK Hariprasad will go to Bengaluru today, ANI reported.
ST Somashekar who has assumed the leadership of the rebel JD(S) and Congress government has ascertained that they have resigned as the MLA and not from their respective parties. "The people of Karnataka have started to dislike the coalition government in their state as the coalition government was not delivering good administration, the coalition partners are always at loggerheads from the beginning,” he said.
Congress MLA from Shivajinagar Roshan Baig also resigned on Tuesday. Baig's resignation has taken the number of MLAs resigning to 15. Baig had already tweeted on Monday that he would be joining the BJP. He has cited the reason of not being given his due respect in the Congress party. Meanwhile, Congress party sources said that Baig's resignation does not matter as he has already been evicted by the party.
Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar says there is no time-frame to take action on resignations, want to act responsibly. "The clause says if the Speaker is convinced that the resignations are voluntary and genuine he or she can accept otherwise...I don't know, I am not a well-read man," Kumar told reporters after resuming office on Tuesday.
Congress leader DK Shivakumar alleged that BS Yeddyurappa's PA was 'picking up' ministers. On Monday, DK Shivakumar had claimed that Independent MLA Nagesh had contacted him after submitting his resignation to the Speaker and said that he was being held hostage by BS Yeddyurappa and his aides.
Karnataka Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar on Tuesday said that no MLA has sought an appointment with him. The Speaker further said that he is nowhere related to the current political developments and acting as per the Constitution. "If anyone wants to meet me, I will be available in my office," he told reporters.
Rebel Congress MLAs who were staying in Mumbai had planned to shift to Pune, later changing it to Goa. But according to the latest reports, they are staying back at an undisclosed location in Mumbai.
Meanwhile on Monday, the Karnataka government — on the brink of collapse after a rebellion from a section of MLAs — took several measures to retain a majority in the state Assembly. While all the ministers from Congress and JD(S) quit "voluntarily" to make room in the cabinet for dissidents, coalition leaders blamed the BJP for indulging in "horse-trading" activities in a bid to topple the HD Kumaraswamy government.
Shortly after Congress ministers decided to resign at a breakfast meeting held at Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara's residence in Bengaluru, the JD(S) representatives, too, followed suit after Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy met leaders of Congress, setting the stage for the reshuffle. The decision was taken after 13 MLAs — ten of the Congress and three of JDS — submitted their resignations from the Assembly membership, plunging the government into a serious crisis.
The crisis deepened on Monday, with two Independent MLAs — H Nagesh and R Shankar — resigning from the ministry and withdrawing their support to the coalition. Incidentally, the two were inducted into the ministry in June after a fresh bout of dissidence to prevent them from siding with the BJP.
The issue also echoed in the Parliament, where the central government denied any role in the political turmoil even as Congress accused it of hatching a conspiracy. In the Lok Sabha, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said the resignation drive was started by Congress president Rahul Gandhi. "Big leaders of Congress are resigning," he said.
BJP, on its part, demanded immediate resignation of Kumaraswamy, saying his government was in 'minority'. "If at all he has dignity, honour and self-esteem, or if he is aware of Karnataka's culture and traditions, he should immediately resign... Do not try to stick on to the chair. You do not have the numbers," former deputy chief minister R Ashok said.
Karnataka BJP chief BS Yeddyurappa lashed out at Kumaraswamy for claiming the state government will run smoothly. "Two Independent MLAs met the governor and gave letters that they'll support BJP. Now, we're 107 (MLAs in Assembly). Even when they've lost majority, Kumaraswamy is speaking like that. People are observing everything. Let us see and wait," he said.
The BJP held a legislative party meeting, during which it decided to wait for two more days before deciding on its course of action. "Today's meeting was called to discuss the issues to be taken up in the Assembly session which begins on 12 July. But this government changed our agenda as they've now come in minority. Question is, will this government stay or not? It was discussed to wait for two more days and see if this government resigns or not, and then decide our course of action. We'll hold a legislative party meet again," BJP MLA Arvind Limbavali said.
Despite the Congress-JD(S)' efforts to rope in the disgruntled MLAs, resort politics returned to haunt the Kumaraswamy government, as the dissidents seemed unmoved and stayed put in a Mumbai hotel. Nagesh joined them in the western metropolis while Shankar was on his way there even as Congress leaders kept maintaining that the crisis would blow over and there will be no need for a number crunch.
The Maharashtra BJP claimed it was not aware of the presence of the dissident Congress-JD(S) MLAs from Karnataka even as Maharashtra BJP legislator Prasad Lad was spotted at the hotel where the legislators were put up.
Meanwhile, the JD(S) moved its MLAs to a Taj West End in Bengaluru. While Youth Congress workers staged protests outside the Mumbai hotel, Congress and JD(S) workers hit the streets of Bengaluru against the alleged "horse-trading" attempts by the BJP. Later on Monday, the rebels MLAs in Mumbai boarded a bus to Goa, while the JD(S) legislators in Bengaluru were moved to Prestige Golfshire in Devanahalli.
Amid the crisis, Congress MLA Roshan Baig said he will quit his party and join the BJP. "I'm hurt by the way Congress party treated me," he told ANI. In June, Baig was suspended from the Congress for "anti-party activities" after he criticised senior Congress leaders Siddaramaiah and Dinesh Gundu Rao over poor results in the Lok Sabha election.
Both the Congress and the BJP have decided to hold state-wide protests on Tuesday against each other, over the political situation. While he Congress has decided to hold protests at all the district centres in Karnataka against the "anti-democratic and unconstitutional BJP", the saffron party is planning to hold demonstrations to seek Kumaraswamy's resignation.