Karnataka Crisis: JD(S) ready to vacate CM post, DK Shivakumar says
Bengaluru, July 21: In a major development, Senior Congress leader DK Shivakumar has reportedly claimed Kumaraswamy has told the Congress that it can appoint any leader of its choice as CM to save the coalition in Karnataka.
"The Janata Dal Secular has informed that they are ready to sacrifice to save the coalition. JDS has told us that Siddaramaiah, G Parameshwara or myself can be the CM They have conveyed this to the Congress High Command as well," he told reporters.
There was, however, no confirmation from the JDS that it has made such a proposal though there were reports earlier that such a suggestion by Kumaraswamy was shot down by his father and JDS supremo H D Deve Gowda.
But minutes after Shivakumar made the announcement, rebel MLAs stated that they were not going to budge.
"Our self-respect has been hurt and there is no question of going back on our decision to resign even if Siddaramaiah is made the CM," rebel legislator Byrathi Basavaraj, a staunch follower of Siddaramaiah until recently, said in the video released from Mumbai, where they have been lodged.
The rebels also dismissed Shivakumar's charges that they are being held hostage and at gunpoint. "We are not in captivity as some Congress MLAs are claiming. We are moving around freely and we are lodged here of our own free will," said Yeshwantpur MLA ST Somashekhar.
At least 20 legislators of the coalition, including the 15 rebels, have not attended the ongoing session discussing the confidence motion moved by the chief minister.
Sixteen MLAs from the ruling coalition including thirteen Congress and three JD(S) MLAs have resigned, while independent MLAs R Shankar and H Nagesh have withdrawn their support to the coalition government, putting the government on the edge.
In U-turn, Ramalinga Reddy retracted, saying he would support the government. The ruling combine's strength is 117 Congress 78, JD(S) 37, BSP 1, and nominated 1, besides the Speaker.
If the resignations of 15 MLAs (12 from Congress and 3 from JDS) are accepted or if they stay away, the ruling coalition's tally will plummet to 101, (excluding the Speaker) reducing the government to a minority.