Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has accused the BJP of using "money power" and "intimidation" to topple governments and said it is doing the same in Karnataka, where 18 legislators have resigned in the last one week, hurtling the coalition government towards a collapse.
"BJP uses money power or threat to topple governments wherever it can. You saw this first in Goa, in the Northeast, and now are trying to do the same in Karnataka. It is their way of functioning. They have money, power, and they use it. This is the reality," Mr Gandhi told reporters in Ahmedabad, where he had arrived to appear before a court in a defamation case.
"The Congress is fighting for truth, because truth makes Congress stronger," Mr Gandhi said when asked what his party would do next.
Amid questions about the Karnataka coalition's survival, Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy has declared that he is ready to seek a trust vote to prove his majority on the floor of the house, and asked the Speaker to fix a time.
The coalition has won a reprieve till Tuesday as the Supreme Court today said there would be no decision on the resignations until then.
The Speaker, KR Ramesh Kumar, had told the court that he had not decided on the resignation letters of the dissidents, some of whom met him last evening. Many of them faced disqualification, he said.
Ten lawmakers met the Speaker last evening with blank papers and submitted their resignations again; they told the court that Ramesh Kumar had questioned their move to go to the Supreme Court and had said "go to hell" to them in front of the media. The Speaker denied the charge, saying his meeting with the lawmakers was video-graphed.
The BJP, which will have a majority if the resignations are accepted, says the coalition government must resign because it has "lost its moral authority to rule." The party has been accused by the Congress and the JDS of crafting the crisis to try and seize power in Karnataka, more than a year after it fell short of a majority in state polls.
If the resignations are accepted, the coalition's 118 members will come down to 100 and the majority mark will drop from 113 to 105. The BJP has 105 members and the support of the two Independents, which takes its tally to 107.
With inputs from PTI