The political situation further worsened in Karnataka as 14 rebel MLAs, who are staying at a hotel in Mumbai after resigning from the state assembly last week, on Sunday wrote to the Mumbai Police seeking protection from the Congress leaders who are expected to them on Monday.
In the letter, they said that they “anticipate serious threat” from the senior leaders.
Naming leaders Mallikarjun Kharge and Ghulam Nabi Azad in the letter, the MLAs wrote, “… We have absolutely no intentions in meeting Shri Mallikarjun Kharge ji or Ghulam Nabi Azad ji or any Congress dignitaries or functionaries from Maharashtra and Karnataka Congress team leader or any other political leader… we anticipate serious threat from them”.
They further requested the police to make necessary arrangements to prevent these leaders from meeting them.
Among the legislators who signed the letter are Shivram Hebbar, BC Patil, Mahesh K, Vishwanath, Muniratnam, Narayan Gowda, R Shankar, H Nagesh, Pratap Patil, Gopalaiah, Ramesh J, MTB Nagraj, Somshekar and Basavaraja.
Congress’s general secretary Mallikarjun Kharge and Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara are likely to visit the rebel lawmakers at Renaissance Hotel in Powai for negotiations.
Last week, Karnataka Congress leader DK Shivakumar was detained by Mumbai Police, who after being denied entry, was sitting outside Renaissance Hotel where 10 rebel Congress and JD(S) MLAs were staying.
Shivakumar was stopped outside the gates of Renaissance – Mumbai Convention Centre Hotel after the rebel lawmakers refused to meet him.
The rebel MLAs had reportedly written to the police stating that they felt “threatened with the minister’s arrival”.
“We have heard CM and DK Shivakumar are going to storm the hotel, we feel threatened,” the letter read.
“We the following elected members of Legislative Assembly of the state of Karnataka are staying at Hotel Renaissance Powai in Mumbai. We have heard that Shri Kumaraswamy and DK Shivakumar and others are going to storm in the hotel premises, we feel threatened for the same. We do not want to meet Shivakumar, kind request to help us in this matter and do not allow them to enter the hotel premises (sic.),” the MLAs said in the letter.
The Karnataka coalition government is teetering on the brink of collapse with 18 lawmakers submitting their resignations.
Till Wednesday, 13 Congress, 3 JD(S) and two independent MLAs had submitted their resignations to the Assembly Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar.
The Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) coalition faces the threat of losing its majority in the Assembly if the resignations are accepted as its current tally is 116 (Congress 78, JD(S) 37 and BSP one), besides the Speaker in the 224 member House.
Meanwhile, Karnataka Assembly Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar has not yet made public his decision on the resignations.
So far, 15 rebel lawmakers have moved the Supreme Court asking it to direct Assembly Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar to accept their resignations.
If the resignations are accepted, the ruling coalition will slip below the half-way mark and rival BJP will have a majority.