IMAGE: Independent MLA H Nagesh meets Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala at the Raj Bhavan in Bengaluru on Monday. Photograph: ANI
Karnataka minister and Independent MLA H Nagesh resigned on Monday and withdrew support to the H D Kumaraswamy-led government, while another Congress minister threatened to resign, delivering another blow to the Janata Dal (Secular)-Congress rule in the state.
Nagesh, who was recently inducted into the ministry as small scale industries minister, met Governor Vajubhai Vala at the Raj Bhavan in Bengaluru and submitted the letter.
He wrote two letters to the Governor in quick succession.
In one he announced withdrawal of support to the Kumaraswamy government, and in another stated that he is ready to extend support to a Bharatiya Janata Party government in the state if formed.
‘I have this day, tendered my resignation to the council of minister headed by Shri H D Kumaraswamy. I have been elected as a member of the legislative assembly, from Mulbagal (SC) constituency, as I am Independent candidate,” Nagesh wrote in his first letter.
‘I would by this letter, inform your good self that, I withdraw my support to the government headed by Shri H.D Kumaraswamy. In view of the same, suitable action may be taken,’ the letter further read.
‘I have already withdrawn my support to the government headed by HD Kumaraswamy. I would further by this letter unequivocally state that I would extend my support to the government of Bharatiya Janata Party if called for by your good self,’ said Nagesh, in another letter written today.
His move comes amid reports that ministers in the coalition government will be asked to step down to make way for disgruntled MLAs who have resigned as legislators.
Meanwhile, Karnataka Minister and Bidar North MLA Rahim Mahmood Khan said he has informed senior Congress functionaries about his grievances and will take a decision after meeting them at Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara’s residence.
“My department got only Rs 15 crore budget this year and it has just now been released. Of this amount, Rs 13 crore will be paid to clear old bills.How can I carry out various projects across Karnataka with the remaining Rs two crore?” the sports and youth empowerment minister told PTI.
Khan said he did not wish to align with the rebel group but the situation has forced him to take a decision.
“I’ll attend the meeting (at Parameshwara’s residence ) today. If my problems aren’t addressed, I will be forced to take a decision,” the minister said.
The Congress-JD(S) government has plunged into crisis with 13 MLAs of the alliance submitting their resignations to the Speaker so far.
The ruling coalition faces the risk of losing its majority if the resignations are accepted.
The JD(S)-Congress coalition’s total strength after Nagesh withdrawing his support, is 117 (Congress-78, JD (S)-37, Bahujan Samaj Party-1 and Independents-1), besides the Speaker.
The BJP has 105 MLAs in the House, where the half-way mark is 113.
If the resignations of the MLAs are accepted, the coalition’s tally will be reduced to 104.
The Speaker also has a vote.
Another Congress MLA R Roshan Baig from Shivajinagar constituency, who has been up in arms against senior party leaders and was suspended for anti-party activities, told PTI that he has not yet decided on resignation.
“I’m busy with Hajj related preparations and have no plans as of now to leave the party,” Baig said.
Speculation was rife that he would also join the rebel camp.
The MLA landed in trouble when a ponzi scheme operative Mohammad Mansoor Khan, who allegedly duped thousands of people, mostly Muslims, accused him of taking Rs 400 crore from him and not returning it.
Baig rubbished Mansoor Khan’s charge and called it a conspiracy against him by his adversaries.
Meanwhile, Congress MP D K Suresh said that all party ministers in the state are going to resign.
“There is no infighting. Yeah, I think all ministers are going to resign. Some of them are in involved in other works, they may come,” said Suresh.
Suresh accused BJP of wrecking the Congress-JD(S) alliance and said, “BJP national leaders are behind this. BJP people don’t want this govt or any opposition party to rule in the state or in the country. They are destroying democracy.”
However, the Congress MP assured that the government is ‘stable’.
“Presently the government is safe our leaders are in touch with MLAs who have resigned,” he said.
Earlier in the day, Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara said if needed, all Congress MLAs will resign in order to accommodate the needs of the rebel legislators.
“I have called a breakfast meeting of all the Ministers belonging to Congress party to discuss the present political developments and the fallout. We know what BJP is trying to do. If need be, all of us may resign and then accommodate the MLAs,” Parameshwara told media in Bengaluru.
With ANI inputs.
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