Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy, who cut short his private visit to the US and returned last evening to handle the crisis in the state following the resignation by 13 lawmakers, today said there is no threat to the government. "This is unconstitutional, it is the work of the BJP high command. The government will survive," Mr Kumaraswamy told NDTV.
His reassurance came hours after a 14th legislator resigned and expressed support for the BJP, tipping the scales in the party's favour in the state assembly.
Over the last week, 13 legislators -- from both Congress and Mr Kumaraswamy's Janata Dal Secular -- have resigned. If the resignations are accepted by the Speaker tomorrow, the ruling coalition's strength of 118 in the 224-seat state assembly will come down to 104 -- two below the majority mark, which will drop from 113 to 106.
The BJP, with the support of Independent member Nagesh who stepped down today, has 106 lawmakers.
Mr Kumaraswamy, though, indicated that he was confident. "I don't have any kind of anxiety about the present political development. I don't want to discuss anything about politics," the Chief Minister was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
Since his return last evening, Mr Kumaraswamy has been holding meetings with his party leaders. Yesterday, his father and party patriarch HD Deve Gowda also held meetings with the leaders of the Congress.
While both parties have been insisting that the government is safe, several ministers have been asked to step down to accommodate any rebel leader who might be willing to negotiate.
All 14 lawmakers are said to be in Mumbai, closeted at a hotel. The Congress says they were taken there by the BJP in a private aircraft and the BJP leaders have been visiting them at the hotel, where the Congress is not allowed.
The party has also claimed that Nagesh was "hijacked" by the BJP - Congress's DK Shivakumar said he had got a call from the legislator.
The matter found resonance in Parliament today. Denying Congress allegations of the BJP attempts to destabilise the state government, Union Minister Rajnath Singh said, "Our party does not put pressure on any other party's lawmaker or legislator. It is Rahul Gandhi who started the resignation spree".