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MTB Nagraj does a U- turn, joins rebel MLAs in Mumbai

By Vishal S

Bengaluru, July 14: A day after rebel Congress MLA MTB Nagraj hinted that he may return, the Hoskote MLA has now reportedly joined the rebel camp in Mumbai.

MTB Nagaraj on Saturday seemed to relent and said "after all I have spent decades in Congress".

As per reports, MTB Nagaraj, who submitted his resignation to the Assembly Speaker on July 10, arrived in Mumbai on Sunday afternoon.

MTB Nagraj

Leaders of the Congress-JD(S) coalition held negotiations with Nagaraj on Saturday in a bid to woo him back to save the H D Kumaraswamy-led government in Karnataka.

Congress strongman D K Shivakumar, who had earlier gone all the way to Mumbai to meet the rebel MLAs but was denied entry into the hotel in which they were staying in, met Nagaraj at his Bengaluru residence yesterday. Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara also met Nagaraj on Saturday.

"Situation was such that we submitted our resignations but now D K Shivakumar and others came and requested us to withdraw resignations, I will speak to K Sudhakar Rao and then see what is to be done, after all I have spent decades in Congress," Nagaraj told reporters on Saturday.

[After meeting DKS, rebel MTB Nagaraj hints he may return][After meeting DKS, rebel MTB Nagaraj hints he may return]

"We should live together and die together because we have worked for 40 years for the party, there are ups and downs in every family. We should forget everything and move forward. Happy that MTB Nagaraj (rebel MLA) has assured us he will stay with us," Shivakumar told after the meeting.

The Hoskote MLA had maintained that he intended to take a final decision on the withdrawal of his resignation after talks with Chikkaballapura MLA K Sudhakar, as both had together submitted resignation to the Speaker on July 10.

Congress-JD(S) leaders were locked in hectic parleys yesterday to pacify rebel MLAs as five more legislators moved the Supreme Court against the Speaker not accepting their resignation.

The resignation of 16 MLAs (13 from Congress and three from JDS) has pushed the coalition government in Karnataka to the brink of collapse. With the support of the two independents, the BJP has 107 MLAs in the 224-member House, where the half-way mark is 113. If the resignations of the 16 MLAs are accepted, the coalition's tally will be reduced to 100.

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