The state of Karnataka is amid political turmoil after a total of 14 MLAs have resigned and the JD(S) - Congress coalition is hanging by a thread. Chief Minister of the state HD Kumaraswamy and Congress leader, former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah is trying hard to keep the flock together and are issuing statements that can act as an assuage to the condition of coalition in the state. With Congress chief Rahul Gandhi publically offering his resignation and no clarity on the next party president and internal tussle in the party between members like Milind Deora-Sanjay Nirupam,etc, Karnataka political crisis comes as a huge setback for the Grand-old party.
Amid the context in which Karnataka's crisis is unfolding for the Congress party, there is a lot happening in various locations as the war for power in the state continues.
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 independent MP 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 successfully form the government in the state.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLAs including former Chief Minister of the state BS Yeddyurappa staged a protest in front of the Mahatma Gandhi statue next to the Vidhana Soudha premises in Bengaluru on July 10. "We thought the CM would resign soon after coming from the US. If he has any shame, he must resign. There is so much dealmaking happening even while the government is shaking," the BJP leaders said.
The Congress and the JD(S) is also protesting outside Vidhan Soudha in bengaluru alleging horsetrading and misuse of power by the BJP. Congress General Secretary K C Venugopal, in Bengaluru said that the Mumbai Police is blocking DK Shivakumar from entering and that they are acting at the behest of the Maharashtra government. Venugopal added that Shivakumar had booked a room in the same hotel and his every right to visit the MLAs. Curiously, the hotel authorities have cancelled Shivakmar's booking stating 'emergency reasons'.
Congress leader DK Shivakumar reached the Renaissance hotel Mumbai on July 10, where the rebel MLAs are living currently amid heavy police presence. Protestors who are supporters of rebel MLA Narayan Gowda gathered and shouted 'Shivakumar, go back.' Shivakumar was escorted back by the police. The police also stopped him from entering the hotel. The hotel authorities have cancelled Shivakmar's booking stating 'emergency reasons'. The Maharashtra government has imposed section 144 in the area. At the time of writing, the Congress leader was detained by the Mumbai Police from outside the hotel.
Speaking to media in the early hours of the day, he had said: "I will contact them. I have been invited by them who are inside the room. Those who are inside they gave us a call and said rescue us. My friends are staying here. There has been a small problem, we've to hold negotiations. We can't go for a divorce immediately. There is no question of threatening, we love and respect each other... We have booked a room there. How can I be a threat to them? I don't have weapons, I only have a heart. I am here to exchange heart with my friends. They are not allowing me outside. Police is not allowing due to security threat."
Recently resigned Mumbai Congress chief Milind Deora has extended his support to DK Shivakumar and reached the hotel to meet DK Shivakumar. He posted a picture of himslef alongside Shivakumar and said that he has spoken to Shivakumar and assured that the local Congress leaders and workers are available to lend support. He also urged Karnataka MLAs to return to Bengaluru and resolved the matter constitutionally. He further alleged that BJP is sponsoring the entire situation and called it a misuse of power.
Meanwhile, the internal tussle within the Maharashtra Congress spilled out in open after Deora's resignation, with former Mumbai Congress chief Sanjay Nirupam slamming his successor saying that his move seems like a move to climb in his political career than taking the onus of the loss in the Lok Sabha elections and making self-sacrifice. While resigning, Deora has said that he had quit as to work as the Mumbai Congress chief as it was difficult to win against forces such as the Vanchit Bahujan in Maharashtra.
In a massive pushback for the HD Kumaraswamy's coalition government, the rebel MLAs camped in the Renaissance Hotel in Mumbai, on Wednesday approached the Supreme Court accusing the Karnataka Assembly Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar of abandoning his constitutional duty and delaying acceptance of their resignations. Sources said that Mukul Rohatgi will represent rebel MLAs in SC
As per sources, the plea filed before the CJI Ranjan Gogoi, has accused of having malafide intent of trying to save minority Congress-JD(S) government in the state. In response to the rebel MLAs' plea, the apex court has taken note of their submission and has said that it will see whether their pleas can be listed on Thursday.
The Congress members on Wednesday, July10 disrupted proceedings in Lok Sabha over the Karnataka crisis and accused the BJP of destabilising the party's coalition government in the state. The opposition created massive ruckus in the lowe house as the Parliamentary Affairs Minister Prahlad Joshi spoke on the political crisis in Karnataka. Earlier, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had said that former Congress president Rahul Gandhi's call to resign has acted as a trigger for other MLAs and the party leaders for resignations.
Proceedings in Rajya Sabha was also disrupted over the Karnataka crisis, even after the house commenced after a day of being adjourned due to the same issue. Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu had to adjourn the upper house yet again on July 10 till noon. When the House reassmbled, sloganeering continued forcing another adjournment till 2 pm.