Karnataka crisis: 2 more Cong MLAs quit

Our Bureau Bengaluru | Updated on July 10, 2019 Published on July 10, 2019

Congress leaders Siddaramaiah and Ghulam Nabi Azad at a protest against the BJP in Bengaluru on Wednesday   -  SOMASHEKAR GRN

Scuffle breaks out between BJP and Congress MLAs outside Speaker’s office

Two more Congress MLAs tendered their resignations from their Assembly seat on Wednesday to the Karnataka Speaker’s office amidst a scuffle between a few BJP and Congress MLAs at the Vidhana Soudha.

The resignations by the two MLAs — MTB Nagaraj (representing Hoskote) and K Sudhakar (Chikkaballapur) — takes the total number of legislators who have tendered resignations to 18.

The scuffle broke out when Sudhakar came out the Speaker’s office after submitting his papers. Congress leaders Priyank Kharge tried to whisk him off physically to convince the MLA to withdraw his resignation. But BJP MLAs objected to it. Later he was taken to Minister KJ George’s chamber.

Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar said, “Today, two more MLAs have resigned, K Sudhakar and MTB Nagaraj. As in the case of the other MLAs, the law will take its own course.”

It is said, if the rebels are adamant, then the Congress-JD(S) coalition numbers could go down from 118 to 100 in the 224-member State Assembly. The majority mark will also drop from 113 to 104. The BJP has 105 members and the backing of two Independents will take its tally to 107.

Sudhakar was taken into custody by Congress MLAs and the Governor intervened and asked police to produce Sudhakar before him. The intervention followed Sudhakar’s wife appealing for protection to her husband.

Priyank Kharge tweeted, “Contrary to media reports, MLA Sudhakar was not manhandled by anyone. He is a friend of mine and I requested him to speak to PCC President in private for which he obliged. The BJP, as usual, is twisting facts to use this as fodder for their shameful #OperationKamala.”

State BJP president BS Yeddyurappa led a dharna demanding that Speaker accepts the resignations of MLAs and also asked Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy to step down from office as he has lost the majority.

Later, Yeddyurappa and BJP MLAs met Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala at Raj Bhavan and submitted a memorandum and requested him to advise the Speaker to act immediately.

Speaking to reporters, Yeddyurappa alleged that the political crisis is created by the Congress and the JD(S). “The government has already lost majority. If the Speaker accepts the resignations without delay, the Assembly session (from July 12) won’t start,” he added.

A delegation of BJP leaders also met the Speaker and requested him to accept the resignations of the MLAs.

The Congress, too, held dharna near Raj Bhavan as the Governor did not give them an appointment.

Former Chief Minister, JD(S)-Congress coordination panel chief and CLP leader Siddaramaiah tweeted “Respected Governor Mr Vajubhai Vala, You belong to the whole State and all the parties, yet we are not allowed to meet you. I urge you to give appointment immediately to brief about ongoing sabotage of democracy by @BJP4India. Is the police acting on their own or on your direction?”

The dharna against the BJP was led by JD(S) supremo HD Deve Gowda and Senior Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad, Mallikarjun Kharge, KC Venugopal and Siddaramaiah.

Rebel MLAs move SC

Meanwhile, 10 rebel Congress and JD(S) MLAs moved Supreme Court alleging that the Speaker has been deliberately not accepting their resignations.

Published on July 10, 2019
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