Rahul Gandhi attacks BJP over Karnataka crisis, accuses party of using money to bring down govt in state

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday attacked the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over the Karnataka political crisis and said: "BJP uses money power or threat to topple governments wherever it can. You saw this first in Goa, in the Northeast, and now are trying to do the same in Karnataka. It is their way of functioning. They have money, power, and they use it. This is the reality," Gandhi told reporters here.

"Congress is fighting for truth because the truth makes Congress stronger," he added. The former Congress president was in Ahmedabad to appear before a metropolitan court in a defamation case filed by the Ahmedabad District Cooperative Bank in which BJP chief Amit Shah is one of the directors. Gandhi pleaded not guilty and got bail in the case

In a breather for the beleaguered JD(S)-Congress government in Karnataka, the Assembly Speaker was restrained by the Supreme Court till Tuesday from deciding on both the resignation and disqualification of rebel MLAs, as Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy in a surprise move on Friday announced he would seek a trust vote.

As Karnataka headed for prolonged political uncertainty, BJP sources said the party too has decided to move its MLAs to a resort near Bengaluru amid fears of reverse poaching by the ruling combine after Kumaraswamy's announcement.

The Congress had also initiated disqualification proceedings against its rebel MLAs. In all, 16 Congress and JD(S) MLAs have submitted their resignations.

The court on Thursday directed the Speaker to take a decision "forthwith" on the resignation of the 10 rebel Congress and JD(S) MLAs but Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar later said more time is required for a decision.

"In view of the weighty issues that have arisen, we are of the view that the matter is considered by us on Tuesday. We are of the view that the status quo as of today with regard to the prevailing situation be maintained. Neither the issue of resignation nor that of disqualification be decided till Tuesday," said an apex court bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi.

The bench specifically mentioned in the order that the Speaker would not decide on the issue of the resignation or the disqualification of the rebel MLAs

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 16 MLAs are accepted, the coalition's tally will be reduced to 100.

With inputs from PTI

Updated Date: Jul 12, 2019 19:27:27 IST