Karnataka Coalition Fights To Survive, Rebels Move From Mumbai To Goa

Karnataka political crisis: If the resignations are accepted and not withdrawn, the Congress-Janata Dal Secular coalition could lose its majority

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Congress and JDS expect some of the rebels to change their mind about quitting and return today.

New Delhi:  Karnataka's year-old Congress-Janata Dal coalition government is on life support after yet another Independent lawmaker quit and pledged support to the BJP, taking the total number of resignations since last week to 15. Thirteen of them belong to the ruling Congress and the Janata Dal Secular. Earlier on Monday, another Independent, made minister a month ago, resigned and came out in support of the BJP, giving it a narrow edge in the assembly. Congress's Roshan Baig, who was suspended last month for "anti-party activities" too says he will quit the Congress and join the BJP. Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy, who cut short a private visit to the US and returned to handle the crisis, said all Congress and JDS minsters have resigned and a cabinet reshuffle will happen soon. The idea is to make room for rebels who might be persuaded to return. The BJP has denied any role in the crisis but sources say it is getting ready to strike.
Here's your 10-point cheat sheet to this big story:
  1. All 15 rebel lawmakers are being shifted to Goa from the Mumbai hotel where they have been closeted, sources said. The shift comes as Youth Congress workers started protests outside their hotel and Congress troubleshooter DK Shivakumar headed for Mumbai. Last week, 12 lawmakers had resigned; 11 of them -- 8 of the Congress and three of the JDS -- quit on Saturday.
  2. Yesterday morning, independent lawmaker Nagesh stepped down and pledged support for the BJP. Soon after, he left for Mumbai. In the evening, Independent legislator and minister R Shankar resigned.
  3. Roshan Baig, who called Congress state in-charge KC Venugopal a "buffoon" and Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president Dinesh Gundu Rao a "flop show", and was suspended from the party for it, on Monday said he was "hurt by the way Congress party treated me, I'll resign from my MLA post and join BJP."
  4. "All ministers from the JDS have submitted their resignation just like the 21 ministers from Congress. Cabinet reshuffle will happen soon," Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy tweeted from his official handle.
  5. Both Congress and Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy's Janata Dal Secular assured that the government is safe. "This is unconstitutional, it is the work of the BJP high command. The government will survive," Mr Kumaraswamy told NDTV. "There is no threat to the coalition government," said Congress's Siddaramaiah. Senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge said the party is in touch with the rebels.
  6. Congress trouble shooter DK Shivakumar said:  "Just now Mr Nagesh called me and said that he has been hijacked by Mr Yeddyurappa's personal attendant and the BJP. By the time I reached airport the flight had left."
  7. The BJP, which failed to gather enough numbers to form government last year, is waiting in the wings, demanding that it be called to form a new government. The party has also dismissed the coalition's allegations that it engineered the defections. "This was an opportunistic alliance to prevent the BJP from coming to power. It has faced problems from Day 1. Don't blame the BJP for your own faults," said senior party leader Nalin Verma.
  8. The JDS moved all its lawmakers to a resort. Sources said the party has booked 35 rooms in Paddington Resort in Kodagu for tonight.
  9. If the resignations stand, the Congress-JDS coalition's 118 members in the 224-seat state assembly will come down to 103 and the majority mark will drop from 113 to 105. The BJP has 105 members and the support of the two Independents. Speaker Ramesh Kumar, who was not in office when 11 lawmakers submitted resignation letters on Saturday, will examine the resignation letters today.
  10. The matter found resonance in Parliament, where in response to Congress allegations of BJP attempts to destabilise the government, Union Minister Rajnath Singh issued a denial. "Our party does not put pressure on any other party's lawmaker or legislator. It is Rahul Gandhi who started the resignation spree," Rajnath Singh said.




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