In a desperate attempt to save the fractured JD(S)-Congress coalition government in Karnataka, the grand old party is set to hold a Congress Legislative Party (CLP) meeting on Tuesday at 9:30 AM in the state capital.
Apart from the parties' meetings, the speaker K.R. Ramesh Kumar who has been absent since Saturday when the whole coalition government teetered to the edge of falling with 13 MLAs resigning from their posts, will resume duty on Tuesday. He will reportedly examine the resignations of the rebel MLAs during the day. Sources have reported that 5 more MLAs may resign after the CLP meet.
As per sources, amidst both JD(S) and Congress facing the now-majority party in the state, BJP of attempting another 'Operation Lotus' to lure the rebel MLAs to their side, both the BJP and the Congress' workers are reportedly set to stage protests against each other on Tuesday.
Earlier on Monday, the rebel MLAs including 10 of Congress, two of JD(S) and two Independents, left for Goa in the evening and were being accompanied by Mohit Bhartiya, president of the Mumbai BJP Yuva Morcha, sources said.
Fearing more resignations, JD(S) has reportedly moved all its MLAs to a Bengaluru resort to prevent more defections from the party on Tuesday. Meanwhile, Congress has urged the Speaker to accept resignations of 13 Congress-JD(S) legislators, alleging that rules have not been followed during its submission. Congress requested Speaker Ramesh Kumar to take a final decision only after holding a separate inquiry with MLAs and to hold hearings to gather the public opinion of the constituency they represent.
Both JD(S) and Congress leaders have repeatedly accused the BJP of horsetrading in the state, which has been categorically denied by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh in the Parliament on Monday. As per sources, BJP Karnataka chief Yeddyurappa claims that BJP has the support of the two Independent MLAs Nagesh and R Shankar, who stepped down earlier on Monday, which increases BJP's tally to 107.
On Saturday, 13 Congress-JD(S) MLAs had resigned including 1 Independent. The JD(S)-Congress coalition’s total strength came down to 117 after (Congress-78, JD(S)-37, BSP-1 and Independents-1) after Nagesh withdrew his support from the government, besides the Speaker.
If the resignations of the 13 Congress-JD(S) MLAs are accepted by the Speaker, the Congress-JD(S) coalition’s numbers will come down to 104, besides the vote of the Speaker. If the Speaker accepts the 13 resignations, the Karnataka Legislative Assembly will come down to 212 out of 225, which will leave the half-way mark to 106. As the saffron party has 107 MLAs in its support now, it can call a trust vote and form a government in the state.