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Karnataka: CM Kumaraswamy ‘relaxed’ as 2 exits jolt Congress-JD(S) coalition

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Bengaluru, Jan 15: In a blow to the Congress-JDS coalition in Karnataka, two MLAs on Tuesday withdrew support to the government headed by H D Kumaraswamy.

Kumaraswamy

H Nagesh (Independent) and R Shankar (KPJP) have written to governor Vajubhai Vala conveying their decision. In separate identical letters, available to the media here, the lawmakers said they were withdrawing support extended to the coalition government of the Congress and the JDS with immediate effect. The MLAs, who are now staying in a Mumbai hotel, requested the governor to take "necessary action."

Shankar, while speaking to news agency ANI, said he had done his best as a cabinet minister but the government did not let him continue his service.

Karnataka coalition shaky: Two independents withdraw support

Another MLA Nagesh said that he decided to withdraw support as there was "no understanding between coalition partners". "Hence, I decided to go with the BJP for a stable government," he said.

Both the Congress and the BJP have been accusing each other of trying to lure legislators. The BJP MLAs are presently camping in Gurgaon, amid reports that some Congress and Independent MLAs are staying at a hotel in Mumbai.

CM HD Kumaraswamy also expressed confidence that his government is stable. "I am totally relaxed, I know my strength. I am enjoying what is going on," he said.

"We have been saying that BJP is luring our MLAs through money and power but their attempts to destabilise the government will fail," Deputy CM G Parameshwara said, adding that their government is stable.

In the 224-member Karnataka Assembly, the Congress has 80 MLAs, the JD(S) has 37, BSP one and two are Independents, who together constitute the ruling coalition. The BJP has 104 MLAs. At least 14 MLAs will have to resign to bring the House strength down to ensure BJP's elevation to power.

The BJP has shifted at least 99 out of the total 104 BJP MLAs in the state to a resort in Gurgaon near Delhi, fearing "poaching attempts by JDS and Congress".

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