Drama continues in the JD(S)-Congress coalition government in Karnataka on Saturday, as newly resigned MLAs have issued their first statement with former JD(S) state president H.Vishwanath saying that 14 MLAs have resigned as they have lost faith in the current government, dispelling rumours of 'Operation Lotus'.
The current turmoil started when three JD(S) and five Congress MLAs handed over their resignation to the state Assembly Speaker K. R. Ramesh Kumar in Bengaluru, throwing the already tottering coalition government into jeopardy.
Karnataka Political Crisis: 11 MLAs' Resignation Letters In His Inbox, Karnataka Speaker Updates That He'll Return To Office On Tuesday
Here are key events of Saturday's Karnataka Crisis :
- 8 MLAs handed over their resignations to state Assembly Speaker K. R. Ramesh Kumar. H Vishwanath, Mahesh Kumathalli, BC Patil, Ramesh Jarkiholi, Shivaram Hebbar, Narayan Gowda, Pratap Gowda, and Ramalinga Reddy triggered the first wave of resignations.
- Close on heels three more Congress MLAs- Byrathi Basavaraj, ST Somashekar, and Munirathna submitted their resignations too. Apart from these MLAs, Soumya Reddy and Gopalaiah had reportedly handed over their resignations, bringing the total number of resignations to 13.
- Former Karnataka Home Minister and seven-time Congress MLA confirmed that he had resigned from his post, triggering Congress Committee General Secretary KC Venugopal to be rushed to Bengaluru, to control the damage.
- In an exclusive scoop, the Leader of Opposition Yeddyurappa's aide of BJP leader was photographed standing outside the hotel where the rebelling JD(S) leaders were staying.
- Resigned MLAs then moved to the Governor's House while Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara and State minister DK Shivakumar called an emergency meeting of Congress Bengaluru MLAs and Corporators later in the day.
- The Speaker who had left his chambers citing health reasons issued a statement confirming that 11 resignations were received, but he would be able to address the issue only on Tuesday as he had a prior appointment on Monday.
- Meanwhile, in the Speakers chambers, DK Shivakumar had reportedly torn down the resignation letter of four ministers while attempting to hold talks with senior leaders including Ramalinga Reddy, Basavaraj Rayareddy, Munirathna, and S T Somashekhar in order to control the situation.
- Both parties' leaders along with then retreated to their respective chambers to talk to their rebelling MLAs.
- Reacting to the entire political situation, JD(S) chief Deve Gowda has said that the party will wait till Monday for the state assembly Speaker to come back and then take a decision. He also claimed that the 11 leaders who have resigned are well-wishers and loyalists of the government.
- CLP chief Siddaramaiah reaches his Bengaluru residence 'Cauvery' and swings into damage control meeting the resigning Congress leaders.
- Four of the 11 resigned MLAs have demanded that Congress Legislative Party (CLP) chief Siddaramaiah be made Chief Minister, replacing CM H D Kumaraswamy, who is currently in the US, as per sources. Sources have further reported that S.T. Somashekar, Byrathi Basavaraj, Munirathna, and another MLA have allegedly made this demand.
- Rebel MLAs issue their first statement with former JD(S) state president H.Vishwanath saying that 14 MLAs have resigned as they have lost faith in the current government, dispelling rumours of 'Operation Lotus'.
Karnataka Number Scenarios: Congress-JD(S) Government On Verge Of Collapse, Here's How The Parties Stand After Multiple MLAs Resign
Current Karnataka Government numbers:
The Congress and JD(S) coalition, which won 115 seats combined, is currently in power in the Karnataka State Assembly managing a slim margin over the BJP's 105 seats. With the exodus of 13 MLAs from the JD(S)- Congress coalition, then the JD(S)-Congress combination gets reduced to 102 MLAs, falling short of BJP's 105 MLAs. But this excludes the BSP's 1 MLA and 2 Independent MLAs. With the reduced number of seats, the halfway mark has also been reduced to 105 with both BJP and the current government JD(S)-Congress-BSP) possess 105 seats.
While the BJP government may have the numbers to conduct a trust vote on the Assembly, they do not have the numbers to pull down the government which may continue as a minority government. Sources have reported that BJP may wait for the by-polls to assess the party's chances better.