Senior Congress leader and seven-time Bengaluru MLA Ramalinga Reddy on Thursday said that he may reconsider his decision to resign as MLA before he is set to appear before the Speaker on Monday.
At his office in Bengaluru, Ramalinga Reddy said, “There is time till July 15. I don’t want to speak about politics till then. All the time for speaking is over and I have expressed my problems to the senior leadership of the Congress.”
He said that he will closely follow the political developments in the state before his meeting with Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar on Monday, the day allotted to him to present his resignation. Reddy had tendered his resignation on July 6, days after being denied a berth in the Kumaraswamy cabinet.The seven-time MLA is the senior most leader from Congress in Bengaluru and was key to the party convincing independents and JD(S) members in the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) elections in 2015.
However, he was overlooked for a ministerial position when the coalition government was formed in May 2018. “Other senior leaders were given ministerial positions but I was overlooked not only when the government was formed but even recently when the independent MLAs were inducted,” he said.
Independent MLAs H Nagesh and R Shankar were inducted into the cabinet in June. The duo has, however, since withdrawn their support for the Congress and pledged their support for the BJP.
Sources told that Ramalinga Reddy was offered the post of Bengaluru Development Minister earlier in the week and later, the post of Deputy Chief Minister. Both positions are currently held by G Parameshwara.
However, Ramalinga Reddy also told, “I have not asked for any ministerial positions now. I have made that clear.”
Ramalinga Reddy is among 16 Congress MLAs who have submitted their resignation papers to the Speaker. But Ramalinga chooses to distance himself from the rebel MLAs who are currently holed up in a hotel in Mumbai.
“I have not gone to court or gone away from Bengaluru. I am in my office and I can be contacted at any time. I am in touch with KC Venugopal, Mallikarjun Kharge and even Kumaraswamy. I have also spoken to BJP leaders but this decision is not influenced by the BJP,” he told further.
“I have worked with Congress for decades. I am only resigning as an MLA and not leaving the Congress party,” he added.
With rebel MLAs in Mumbai indicating that they are firm on their decision to resign as MLAs, the Congress could turn to its veteran from Bengaluru to try and save the government. The 10 MLAs, who had approached the Supreme Court, have been ordered to appear before the Speaker by 6pm on Thursday and present their resignations. The Speaker has been directed to come out with a decision on their resignations and present his order to the top court on Friday.