Udayavni Special

After rebel MLA Nagaraj keeps Congress guessing, party steps up efforts to persuade Ramalinga Reddy


PTI, Jul 14, 2019, 4:06 PM IST

Bengaluru: The Congress on Sunday intensified efforts to persuade another rebel MLA Ramalinga Reddy to return to the party fold, in a desperate bid to save the Congress-JD(S) coalition government in Karnataka teetering in the wake of resignation of its legislators.

Sources in the Congress told PTI that the party’s state working president Eshwar Khandre and H K Patil have headed to Ramalinga Reddy’s residence.

Reddy, BTM Layout Assembly MLA, is said to be maintaining a silence and has not been responding to the party’s attempts to appease him. He is also among the MLAs who have resigned.

On Saturday, a team of BJP leaders led by Yelahanka MLA S R Vishwanath and Padmanabha Reddy had called on him at his residence.

“Ramalinga Reddy has neither gone to Mumbai, nor he has given any statement that can be considered as anti-party activity. It is incumbent upon us to persuade him. We are sure he won’t leave the party,” said party spokesperson Subhash Agarwal.

The coalition government is on a sticky wicket with 16 MLAs–13 of the Congress and three of the JD(S) — resigning from the Assembly. Besides, two independent legislators, who were made ministers recently to provide stability, have quit the cabinet.

The independents — H Nagesh and R Shankar – have also withdrawn support to the coalition government and are now supporting the BJP.

The ruling coalition’s strength in the House is 116 (Congress 78, JD(S) 37 and BSP one), besides the speaker.

With the support of the two independents, the opposition BJP has 107 MLAs in the 224-member House.

If the resignations of the 16 MLAs are accepted, the ruling coalition’s tally will be reduced to 100. The speaker has a vote too.

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