KARNATAKA CRISIS
All Congress ministers 'voluntarily' resign to make way for rebel MLAs in government
- Team PT
All Congress ministers 'voluntarily' resign to make way for rebel MLAs in government



In a desperate attempt to save the coalition government in Karnataka, all Congress ministers on Monday morning tendered their resignations from the Kumaraswamy Cabinet. 

With this, the Congress has made an open offer to 13 disgruntled MLAs who had tendered their resignations and have been staying in a Mumbai hotel. 

"All 21 Karnataka Congress ministers have resigned voluntarily," senior party leader and former CM Siddaramaiah informed reporters in Bengaluru.

The decision of Congress ministers to resign came after Independent MLA-turned-Minister H Nagesh withdrew his support to the HD Kumaraswamy government bringing its total tally to 105, level with the BJP, reports newindianexpress.com 

"I've already withdrawn my support to govt headed by HD Kumaraswamy. I would further by this letter unequivocally state I would extend my support to the Govt of BJP if called for by your good self," Nagesh said in his resignation letter on Monday.

All the ministers of the Congress submitted their resignations to AICC General Secretary KC Venugopal and KPCC chief Dinesh Gundu Rao on Monday morning at a breakfast meeting in Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwar's house.
 
"In the last five years, we are seeing an anti-democratic stand of BJP where they destabilise other governments. After Lok Sabha, they have done this in West Bengal, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. They threaten opposition MLAs and MLAs using central agencies like IT, ED and CBI to join them and destabilise the governments in states. In Karnataka, this is the sixth time BJP is trying to destabilise the coalition. Last few times they failed terribly and this time also they are luring with money and minister posts and are indulging in the horse trade. Congress will firmly face this situation. We strongly believe in the strength of the party in Karnataka. We are confident that this government will continue. There are a lot of rumours about more MLAs resigning. We agree there are grievances and issues, but in a democracy, everybody cannot be accommodated. For the welfare of the government, ministers of the Congress have voluntarily given resignations. Ministers themselves, given the scenario, have resigned from the cabinet and entrusted with the Congress the responsibility to reconstitute the cabinet," KC Venugopal, General Secretary, AICC said. 

The coalition that was previously hanging at 106 after the resignation of 13 legislators loses its simple majority in the scenario that all resignations are accepted and stands tied with BJP at 105.

The BJP hopes to get the support of Nagesh to take their numbers to 106, beating the coalition's combined strength.

Meanwhile, more resignations from the Congress' side is expected.

Karnataka Minister and Bidar North MLA Rahim Mahmood Khan said he has informed senior Congress functionaries about his grievances and will take a decision after meeting them at Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara's residence

On Monday the BJP has called a meeting of its MLAs who are likely to be shifted to a private hotel to stall any attempts by the coalition to lure them.

If all 13 resignations are accepted, it is game over for the Kumaraswamy government. 

Twelve legislators --nine from the Congress and three from the JD(S) -- resigned on Saturday.

Congress MLA Anand Singh had resigned on July 1.

"My department got only Rs 15 crore budget this year and it has just now been released. Of this amount, Rs 13 crore will be paid to clear old bills. How can I carry out various projects across Karnataka with the remaining Rs two crore?" the sports and youth empowerment minister told PTI.

Khan said he did not wish to align with the rebel group but the situation has forced him to take a decision.

"I'll attend the meeting (at Parameshwara's residence ) today. If my problems aren't addressed, I will be forced to take a decision," the minister said.

The JD(S)-Congress coalition's total strength in the state assembly, including those who have put in their papers, is 118 --Congress 78, JD(S) 37, BSP one and two Independents, besides the speaker.

The BJP has 105 MLAs in the House, where the half-way mark is 113.

The speaker also has a vote.

Another Congress MLA R Roshan Baig from Shivajinagar constituency, who has been up in arms against senior party leaders and was suspended for anti-party activities, told PTI that he has not yet decided on resignation.

"I'm busy with Hajj-related preparations and have no plans as of now to leave the party," Baig said.

Speculation was rife that he would also join the rebel camp.

The MLA landed in trouble when a ponzi scheme operative Mohammad Mansoor Khan, who allegedly duped thousands of people, mostly Muslims, accused him of taking Rs 400 crore from him and not returning it.

Baig rubbished Mansoor Khan's charge and called it a conspiracy against him by his adversaries.

The government went into a huddle following the resignation of 13 MLAs comprising 10 Congress and three JD(S) MLAs.

Ten of the rebel MLAs have camped in a Mumbai hotel and have made it clear that they will not attend the Congress Legislative Party meeting on Tuesday since they have tendered their resignation at Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar's office.

The speaker would take a call on Tuesday.

Hectic parleys were held in the Congress and the JD(S) camps to bail out the 13-month old government, which is facing a crisis.

Chief minister H D Kumaraswamy who returned from the USA Sunday evening straightaway held a series of meetings with leaders of the JD(S) and Congress, including the Congress legislative party leader and former chief minister Siddaramaiah without a break till late Sunday night.
 

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