As Karnataka’s political crisis continues to deepen, Deputy Chief Minister and Bengaluru Development Minister Dr G Parameshwara said that they are trying to save the government, and if the party asks him to resign, he will.
“I have called for the meeting of all Congress ministers. We are looking at all options. If the need arises, all Congress ministers will resign to accommodate disgruntled MLAs in the cabinet. See, we are trying to save our government. If the party tells me also to resign, I will also resign. I have held several meetings with MLAs from Bengaluru. I know who attended those meetings and who did not. In fact, in the recent budget, Rs 11,000 crore was allocated for Bengaluru’s development. I don’t know what problem you are talking about,” Parameshwara said in a statement.
His statement comes in the wake of allegations that former Home Minister Ramalinga Reddy and other MLAs from Bengaluru resigned due to Parameshwara’s decisions related to Bengaluru’s development. Speculation was also rife that Ramalinga Reddy demanded to be given the Bengaluru development ministerial post, a portfolio currently held by Parameshwara.
Ramalinga Reddy and the three other MLAs from Bengaluru, including ST Somashekar, Byrathi Basavarj and Gopalaiah, are believed to have been upset with Parameshwara ever since he became the Bengaluru Development Minister. A Congress leader earlier said, “Parameshwara is not allowing Bengaluru Mayor Gangambike a free reign in the BBMP. Ramalinga Reddy is one of the most important leaders who controlled the Congress corporators in Bengaluru. Gangambike is his proxy and Parameshwara’s decision to change the garbage contracts and curtailing the Mayor’s discretionary funds from Rs 150 crore to Rs 40 crore did not sit well with Reddy,” a Congress leader said.
On Sunday, Congress and JD(S) leaders met to discuss ministerial berths that could be offered to the rebel leaders who are currently in Mumbai’s Sofitel Hotel, but the rebel leaders have said that they will not withdraw their resignation under any circumstances.
Karnataka’s political upheaval began 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 to Mumbai, awaiting the Speaker’s decision. The Speaker will be announcing his decision on Tuesday.
The strength of the coalition government currently stands at 120, including the Speaker. The coalition has 80 Congress MLAs, 37 JD(S) MLAs and 1 BSP MLA. Two independent MLAs also support the coalition. The BJP’s strength in the Assembly is 105, and the majority mark is 113. If the BJP wishes to come to power, it needs 16 MLAs from the coalition to resign in order to topple the government.