- Mallikarjun Kharge alleged the BJP was behind Karnataka political crisis
- Year-old coalition, wobbly from the start, has struggled with revolt
- 11 lawmakers of the Congress-JDS coalition resigned on Saturday
Senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge today alleged the BJP was behind the political crisis in the state after 11 lawmakers of the Congress-JDS coalition resigned on Saturday. They were flown to Mumbai and herded into a five-star hotel. Mallikarjun Kharge alleged the BJP would do everything to exploit the situation and create confusion, after reports surfaced that his name was doing the rounds for the chief minister's post.
"These are all flimsy information being fed to the press just to divide us," Mr Kharge said.
He alleged the BJP is engineering defections to overthrow governments in states not ruled by the BJP. "After Mohammad Bin Tuglaq, there is now a person with the same values - Narendra Modi," the Karnataka Congress tweeted this morning, adding to party spokesperson Randeep Surjewala's comments on Saturday that "MODI means Mischievously Orchestrated Defections in India" - a reference to the Prime Minister's last name and borrowing his knack for coining acronyms.
Karnataka BJP chief BS Yeddyurappa denied his party's role in the resignations of the 11 lawmakers - eight from the Congress and three from Janata Dal Secular. "You know about the political developments. Let's wait and see. I don't want to answer to what HD Kumaraswamy and Siddaramaiah say. I am nowhere related to this," Mr Yeddyurappa told news agency ANI.
The year-old coalition in Karnataka, wobbly from the start, has struggled with revolt and infighting since it came to power in May last year.
Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy, who is in the US on a private trip, as well as the Congress have accused the BJP of relentlessly pursuing their lawmakers and attempting to bring the government down.
The Congress and the JDS together have 118 members in the 224-seat state assembly, along with one BSP and one Independent member. The defections will bring its numbers down to 105 and the majority mark in the assembly from 113 to 106. The BJP, which also has 105 legislators, has said it should be invited to form a new government if the ruling coalition lacks the numbers.
If the resignations are accepted, the ruling coalition will no longer have majority in the assembly.
The BJP, which has 105 legislators, says the party has nothing to do with the walkout by the Congress legislators - and says if the government falls, the BJP should be invited to form government.