Karnataka crisis Updates: JD(S) issues whip to MLAs, including rebels ahead of trust vote
Bengaluru, July 18: Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy has issued whip to all 37 MLAs of JD(S) including three rebel legislators Narayana Gowda, Gopalaiah and H Vishwanath to be present in the Assembly on Thursday.
Kumaraswamy has said that if MLAs do not attend the House and vote against the party whip even after attending the session on the day of trust voting, action will be initiated under the rule of Anti-Defection Law and that MLA will be disqualified from his post.
The political crisis in Karnataka has entered the 11th hour as Supreme Court on Wednesday said that the Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar is free to decide on resignations of 15 rebel Congress-JD (S) MLAs, making Thursday's trust vote a difficult affair for the 15-month-old HD Kumaraswamy government.
"It's not necessary for the MLAs to attend the session tomorrow," a bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi said.
Meanwhile, the Karnataka MLAs camping at a hotel in Mumbai may skip the confidence motion moved by the southern state's chief minister HD Kumaraswamy on July 18.
If the resignations are accepted, chief minister HD Kumaraswamy's government would be reduced to a minority in the assembly ahead of Thursday's trust vote.
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Leaders who quit
Among those who have put forward their resignation are H Vishwanath (JDS), Mahesh Kumthalli (Congress), BC Patil (Congress), Ramesh Jarkiholi (Congress), Shivaram Hebbar (Congress), Narayan Gowda (JDS), Gopalia (JDS), ST Somashekar (Congress), Muniratna (Congress), Pratap Gowda (Congress) and Byrathi Basavaraj (Congress). They will meet Governor Vajubhai Vala at Raj Bhavan and inform the same.
They have submitted their resignation to Kumar's secretary as the Speaker had already left office.
However, 4 MLAs - Ramalinga Reddy, ST Somshkher, Munni Rathna and Bayaratti Basawarj went with DK Shivakumar.
The man in trouble
The move comes at a time when the Karnataka CM Kumaraswamy is touring the US. Two Congress MLAs Vijayanagara MLA Anand Singh and Gokak MLA Ramesh Jarkiholi have already resigned.
Earlier, speaking to reporters, senior congress leader Ramalinga Reddy said "I have come to submit my resignation to speaker. I don't know about my daughter(Congress MLA Sowmya Reddy), she is an independent woman."
"I am not going to blame anyone in the party or the high command. I somewhere feel I was being neglected over some issues. That is why I have taken this decision," he said.
In the recently held Lok Sabha polls, Congress and the JD(S) failed to make a mark with the BJP bagging 25 of the 28 seats along with an Independent backed by it leaving just one seat each to the coalition partners.
3 MLAs want Siddaramaiah back as CM
Somashekar, Basavaraj, and Shivaram are three of the four MLAs who have demanded that Siddaramaiah be made the chief minister. The fourth MLA, Muniratna, has not resigned but has made similar demands.
BJP ready to form govt
The BJP appears to be convinced that the time is ripe for a strike, both because of its success in the parliamentary election and the disenchantment in the Congress over the alliance with the JD(S). If enough number of coalition MLAs resign, the BJP could claim a majority with its present strength in an Assembly of reduced strength, and by-polls could follow.
BJP DV Sadananda Gowda, BJP, on being asked if BJP will form government in Karnataka, "Governor is the supreme authority, as per the constitutional mandate if he calls us, certainly we are ready to form the govt. We are the single largest party, we have got 105 people with us."
What is the present strength of coalition in Karnataka?
In the 225 member house, the BJP has 105 seats, the Congress prior to these resignations had 78. The JD(S) on the other hand has 37 MLAs. The BSP and the KPJ party have a seat each. There is also an independent and one Speaker.
15 MLAs from the Congress-JDS will have to resign to topple HDK government. After today's 8 resignations, government is in real trouble.