As the JD(S)-Congress coalition government in Karnataka is teetering on the brink of collapse, the rebel lawmakers who were staying at a hotel in Mumbai have been shifted to an “undisclosed” location in the city.
The MLAs had earlier planned to shift to Pune but later changed it Goa but then decided to stay back in Mumbai.
A total of 15 MLAs have resigned from the ruling alliance – 10 from Congress and three from JD (S) by Saturday and two more, including one Independent on Monday.
On a day of swift political developments, Karnataka Minister R Shankar of regional outfit KPJP resigned his post on Monday and also withdrew support to the beleaguered JD (S)-Congress government. He said he would support the BJP.
Shankar resigned hours after Small-Scale Industries Minister H Nagesh, an Independent legislator, resigned and withdrew support to the 13-month-old coalition government.
In a bid to save the 13-month-old coalition government, all 30 Karnataka ministers of the alliance have put in their papers to allow a Cabinet reshuffle.
Earlier, 21 ministers of Congress had quit the cabinet.
“All ministers from #JDS have submitted their resignations just like the 21 ministers from #Congress. Cabinet reshuffle will happen soon,” the Chief Minister’s Office said in a tweet.
The exit of Independent MLAs H Nagesh and R Shankar, inducted into the Cabinet on June 14 to bolster numbers, reduced the coalition’s strength to 104 after 13 MLAs — 10 Congress and 3 JD(S) — resigned Saturday. The coalition now comprises 69 Congress MLAs, 34 JD(S) and one BSP MLA compared to the BJP’s 107 (105 plus two Independents) in the 224-member House.
The Congress accused the BJP of trying to destabilise the state government.
Late on Monday, Congress leaders KC Venugopal, Dinesh Gundu Rao, Siddaramaiah, G Parameshwara, MB Patil and Eshwara Khandre held a meeting at an undisclosed location, with legal advisers to discuss the further action against the MLAs who have resigned.
The Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Siddaramaiah has urged the rebels to attend the CLP meeting he has conveyed during the day ahead of the 10-day monsoon session of the state legislature from Friday.
Meanwhile, senior Congress MLA Roshan Baig on Monday threatened to quit the party and join BJP. “I’m hurt by the way Congress party treated me, I’ll resign from my MLA post and join BJP,” he said.
Besides, the opposition BJP will stage protests across Karnataka on Tuesday demanding Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy’s resignation as his coalition government lost majority following the resignation of 15 lawmakers.