Bengaluru: The BJP on Sunday said it will wait for Karnataka Assembly Speaker Ramesh Kumar’s call on the resignation of 14 JD(S)-Congress MLAs before deciding out its next move even as the Congress blamed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the present political crisis in the southern state.
The party, in a tweet, accused Modi of performing “Operation Lotus” in 10 States going against the spirit of the Constitution and democracy. “Karnataka should not fall victim to Modi’s conspiracy,” the party said.
The Karnataka unit of the BJP, in a press statement, said the MLAs are expressing their disappointment with the government openly, and 14 of them have resigned. The ball is now in Speaker’s Court. The party will wait for the Speaker’s decision after which the State leaders will decide their next course of action in consultation with the national and state leaders, BJP Karnataka Unit General Secretary N.Ravikumar said.
Clarity on how the JD(S) and Congress plan to wriggle out of the present mess will become clear after Chief Minister HD Kumarasway returns from the US this evening. They have time till Tuesday to persuade MLAs, and patch up with them as the Speaker will look into their resignations only on Tuesday.
JD(S) national president HD Deve Gowda, however, is learnt to have agreed to Water Resources Minister DK Shivakumar’s suggestion to drop old ministers and accommodate the disgruntled MLAs. The Congress, according to sources, is also likely to ask some or all of its ministers to quit their positions to save the government from caving in under the flood of resignations. The Chief Minister may recast the ministry in an effort to persuade the dissidents to withdraw their resignations.
Fourteen MLAs — 11 from the Congress and three from the JD(S) — have quit so far, and some more MLAs are expected to resign, too.
AICC general secretary KC Venugopal is learnt to have discussed ministry restructuring formula in a meeting with former CM Siddaramaiah and Deputy CM G Parameshwara on Saturday evening. The idea is to accommodate the disgruntled Congress MLAs who have quit, and save the 13-month old regime at any cost.
The BJP has 105 members in the 224-member Assembly, the Congress 79, the JD(S) 37, one BSP and two independents. The BJP, however, is keeping its fingers crossed waiting patiently for the government to crash on its own under the weight of swelling dissidence in the party.
Of the Congress MLAs resigned are from Bengaluru City, three of them, ST Somashekar, Munirathna and Byrathi Basavaraju are out and out loyalists of former CM Siddaramaiah, and political observers suspect they would have resigned with their own agenda of bringing Siddaramaiah back as Chief Minister.
The disgruntled MLAs teamed up together, and timed their resignations in a coordinated manner which caught the JD(S) and Congress camp by surprise. Several of them left Bengaluru for Mumbai by a private aircraft.
Each MLA had his or her own reason to quit. Hunsur JD(S) MLA H.Vishwanath, who till the other day headed the JD(S) State unit, quit to settle scores against former CM Siddaramaiah, who heads the JD(S)-Congress Coordination council. Reddy, a veteran Congress leader, had earlier told the media that senior leaders were being ignored by the party — he did not get a ministerial berth in the current government.
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