Karnataka Minister and Independent MLA R Shankar on Monday resigned from the H D Kumaraswamy cabinet and extended support to the opposition BJP.
Shankar met state Governor Vajubhai Vala and conveyed his decision to support BJP, a communication from the Raj Bhavan said. The Ranebennur MLA, who quit as Municipal Administration Minister, later left for Mumbai. His move came shortly after another independent MLA and Minister H Nagesh resigned from the council of ministers and withdrew support to the 13-month old Kumaraswamy-led government.
The withdrawal of support by the two MLAs to the government has dealt another blow to the coalition which is tottering on the brink of collapse after 13 MLAs of the combine resigned on Saturday. With Shankar's decision, the BJP's numbers in the 224-member assembly has gone up to 107 while the strength of the ruling coalition has come down to 116 excluding the Speaker. The half-way mark is 113. If the Speaker accepts the resignation of the 13 MLAs, the government numbers will fall to 103.
The BJP is in a huddle in Karnataka amid the political crisis faced by the Congress-JD(S) government. Fourteen MLAs have resigned with at least ten of them camping in Mumbai. Ahead of its party's state legislative meeting, BJP leader from the state Yeddyurappa on Monday demanded that CM HD Kumaraswamy resign immediately as the government did not have the majority anymore. He also said that the BJP workers will protest across the state against the coalition government.
Meanwhile, CM HD Kumaraswamy, after all ministers belonging to JD(S) and Congress quit the cabinet to pave way for rebel MLAs to take the posts, expressed confidence and said that "The issue will be resolved, don't worry. This govt will run smoothly."
(With PTI Inputs)