The political drama unfolding in Karnataka has taken a new turn with rebel MLAs, who are currently cooped up in a Mumbai hotel claiming that they are firm on their resignations.
Speaking to the media, Congress MLA from Yeshwanthpur ST Somashekar, who addressed the media at Sofitel Hotel in Mumbai’s Bandra Kurla Complex told the media that the 13 MLAs, who have tendered their resignations, will under no circumstance go back on their decision.
“Ten MLAs are currently here in Mumbai. Ramalinga Reddy, Munirathna and Anand Singh will join us tomorrow (Monday). Under no circumstance will the 13 MLAs go back on our decision to withdraw our resignation letters. We have been hearing in the media that some of us are willing to withdraw our resignation letters. This is not true,” ST Somashekar said.
Somashekar also stated that the rebel MLAs had not demanded that the Chief Minister be changed but only expressed their disillusionment about Kumaraswamy’s administration.
“We have not demanded that Kumaraswamy be replaced with another CM. That was never our demand. We will not go back on our decision. On paper, the coalition may still be together but the government had already toppled 10 days ago. We aired our grievances and we also informed our leaders that we would quit,” Somashekar said.
Backing up Somashekar’s statement, BC Patil too said that the 13 rebel MLAs would not go back on their decision. “Whatever BC Patil said is true. We 13 MLAs will not withdraw our resignations under any circumstance,” BC Patil said.
Somashekar’s statement comes just in the heels of JD(S) leader GT Deve Gowda’s saying that the party was willing to allow Siddaramaiah or any other Congress leader become the Chief Minister.
The political drama began unfolding last week after MLAs Anand Singh and Ramesh Jarkiholi resigned. Soon after, 11 other Congress and JD(S) MLAs tendered their resignations on Saturday and flew away to a hotel in Mumbai, awaiting the Speaker’s decision slated to be announced later on Tuesday.
The 10 Congress and 3 JD(S) MLAs include former state Home Minister Ramalinga Reddy, Ramesh Jarkiholi, H Vishwanath, ST Somashekar, Pratapgouda Patil, K Gopalaiah, BC Patil, Mahesh Kumtahallli, Narayana Gowda, Byrathi Basavaraj, Shivaram Hebbar, Anand Singh and Munirathna Naidu.
The strength of the coalition government is 120 now, including the Speaker. Congress has 80 MLAs, the JD(S) has 37 MLAs and there is 1 BSP MLA. Two independent MLAs – R Shankar from Ranebennur and H Nagesh from Mulbagal constituencies – are also supporting the coalition. The BJP’s strength in the Assembly is 105. The majority mark is 113. The BJP needs 16 MLAs from the coalition to resign in order to topple the government and come to power.