As the Karnataka coalition government is teetering on the brink of collapse with 18 lawmakers submitting their resignations, Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy on Thursday rejected the opposition BJP’s demand for him to quit as his coalition government has been reduced to ‘minority’.
Till Wednesday, 13 Congress, 3 JD(S) and two independent MLAs have submitted their resignations to the Assembly Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar.
Kumaraswamy questioned the necessity for his resignation.
“Why should I resign? What is the necessity?,” retorted Kumaraswamy in Kannada when asked amid speculation that he would submit his resignation to state Governor Vajubhai Vala after a cabinet meeting in the afternoon.
Clarifying that he would attend the monsoon session of the state Legislative Assembly beginning here on Friday, Kumaraswamy said how could the Bharatiya Janata Party make such a demand when its former Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa did not resign after 18 of his legislators revolted against him in 2008-09.
“You should ask him (Yeddyurappa) why he did not resign after 18 BJP legislators went to the then governor and gave a joint letter withdrawing their support to him,” recalled Kumaraswamy.
Kumaraswamy’s rejection came a day after a BJP delegation, led by Yeddyurappa, on Wednesday petitioned the Governor in Raj Bhavan seeking the incumbent leader’s resignation, as he lost majority and had no moral right to continue as Chief Minister of the coalition government any longer.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court on Thursday asked 10 rebel Congress and JDS MLAs to “meet the state Assembly Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar at 6 pm today and submit their resignations if they wish to do so”.
The apex court also ordered the DGP of Karnataka to provide protection to all the rebel MLAs.
Huge drama unfolded on Wednesday as Karnataka Congress leader DK Shivakumar was stopped outside the gates of Renaissance – Mumbai Convention Centre Hotel after the rebel lawmakers refused to meet him.
He was later detained by the Mumbai Police after being denied entry.
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.