The ruling Congress- Janta Dal-Secular coalition government in Karnataka appears to be teetering on the edge when 11 lawmakers quit on Saturday.
H Vishwanath, a lawmaker of the Chief minister’s JDS said, “We have given our resignation to the Speaker’s office. We have brought this to the notice of the governor as well. We urge that our resignations be accepted,” after meeting the Governor.
Mr Vishwanath was removed as JDS state president just days ago.
Congress leader Ramalinga Reddy told news agency ANI, “I have come to submit my resignation to the speaker,” while waiting at speaker Ramesh Kumar’s office.
“I am not going to blame anyone in the party or the high command. I somewhere feel I was being neglected over some issues,” he added.
The Congress and JDS together have 116 in the 224-member state assembly where 113 is the majority mark. The coalition will crash if 11 lawmakers quit.
Speaker Ramesh Kumar said, “If the Speaker accepts the 11 resignations, the coalition will lose majority in the 224-member Assembly as its strength will come down to 104 against the BJP’s 105. The coalition’s current strength, including those who have resigned, is 118 (Congress-78, JD(S)-37, BSP-1 and Independents-2), besides the Speaker”, he was not in office when the legislator arrived.
The move comes days after another Congress MLA, Anand Singh, resigned on July 1.
Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy is still in the US on holiday, when Eight Congress and three Janata Dal-Secular legislators submitted their resignations to the Speaker on Saturday while he was not in the office.
The MLAs who have resigned are H Vishwanath, Y Gopalaiah and KC Narayana Gouda from the JDS; the Congress MLAs are BC Patil, Mahesh Kumatahalli, Ramesh Jharkiholi, Shivaram Hebbar, Prathapgouda Patil, Ramalinga Reddy, Byrathi Basavaraj, N Munirathna, S T Somashekhar and Anand Singh.
According to the sources, Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge, among the senior-most party leaders in Karnataka, enjoys good relations with many of the MLAs who have resigned or are contemplating to switch sides, and hope he will arrest the slide.