Coalition government safe, says state Cong unit

Team Udayavani, Jul 3, 2019, 2:21 PM IST

Bengaluru: Days after two of its MLAs tendered their resignations, the Congress in Karnataka went into a damage control mode Tuesday as it made attempts to reach out to the disgruntled legislators while asserting that its coalition government with JD(S) was safe.

Jolted by the double blow, the Congress also accused the BJP, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and home minister Amit Shah of making attempts to topple the 13-month old H D Kumaraswamy government, a charge rejected by the saffron party.

Raising eyebrows, a JD(S) minister, however, gave a clean chit to Modi and Shah saying they were not involved in state politics.

According to Congress sources, former chief minister and Congress legislature party chief Siddaramaiah, who has taken the lead role in keeping the party flock together, has been reaching out to the disgruntled MLAs, considered ‘vulnerable’, since Monday.

There are concerns that a few more MLAs who were allegedly in touch with the BJP may follow the foot steps of Anand Singh and Ramesh Jarkiholi who had sent in their resignations as legislators to speaker Ramesh Kumar Monday.

The developments dealt a double blow to the wobbly JD(S)-Congress government with another phase of uncertainty looming large over its stability.
Speaking to reporters here Tuesday, Siddaramaiah alleged BJP was behind the resignation of MLAs and the party wanted to some how topple the government and come to power.

“….it’s BJPs conspiracy. They are the ones who are trying to lure our MLAs… They have the thirst for power, so they are making such attempts, he charged.
Amit Shah himself is doing this. The Prime Minister is also involved in this. To pull down this government, they are offering money, they are offering power,” he alleged.

For the last one year they had been trying to topple the government but did not succeed. “Again they have started, they will not succeed, he added.

He was responding to a question about JD(S) leader and higher education minister G T Devegowda’s statement earlier in the day in Mysuru giving a clean chit to Modi and Shah.

“…they (PM and Shah) are thinking about what to do for the nation, on Kashmir issue, how to deal with America and China Modi has promised a farmer-friendly budget on July 5. No one should blame BJP leadership, he said.

Interestingly JD(S) leader and chief minister H D Kumaraswamy who is in the US in a tweet had on Monday accused BJP of day dreaming of destabilising his government.

Rejecting Congress’s charge that the BJP was behind the resignation of its two MLAs, the party’s Karnataka unit chief B S Yeddyurappa said it was a ploy to hide “differences” within the ruling party.

On threats by several Congress leaders, including minister R B Timmapur, of a reverse operation against the BJP, he said they had been saying this for the last three months and dared them to carry it out. “We are all together, 105 BJP MLAs are united,” he said adding none can be lured.

Congress is keen to diffuse the situation quickly as any more resignation by disgruntled MLAs from the ruling coalition will trigger a number game in the assembly.

The coalition’s strength in the 224-member assembly stands at 118 (Congress-78, JD(S)-37, BSP-1 and Independents-2), besides the Speaker.The BJP has 105 MLAs.

If the resignation of two MLAs is accepted, the combine’s strength will come down to 116 against half-way mark of 113.

However, expressing confidence the two MLAs will not go to BJP, Siddaramaiah said, Im not able to reach both of them (Singh and Jarkiholi) over phone, I will speak to them and convince. According to me, no MLA will gogovernment is hundred per cent safe.”

Congress trouble shooter and minister D K Shivakumar too said there was no need to panic and the government will complete its full term.
We know who is playing what game and are moving what pawn, there is medicine for everything, he added.

Deputy chief minister G Parameshwara sought to blame the BJP for the development and said a cabinet sub-committee has been formed to look into the issue of land to JSW Steel as flagged by Anand Singh.

On the other hand Singh Tuesday reiterated his demands and clarified he was not blackmailing the party.

I have not asked for minister position or anythingI want development for my people, he told reporters in Ballari.

Singh, a former BJP member who joined the Congress ahead of the May 2018 assembly elections, had resigned citing a number of issues, including the decision to sell land to JSW Steel in mineral-rich Ballari district.

Ramesh Jarkiholi, who has been sulking ever since he was dropped from the cabinet last year, too had sent their resignations to the Assembly speaker.

Meanwhile, speaker K R Ramesh Kumar told reporters in Kolar that Jarkiholi had neither met him to handover his resignation nor spoken to him.
On Singh’s resignation, he said it has been received and he would take further action according to rules once he returned.

The speaker, who visited his office in Vidhana Soudha here later in the day, took exception to sending resignations through fax.

“Let them (MLAs) mind their language before addressing media on all these issues. One has to be careful when they deal with the speaker and speaker’s office… What do they mean by sending (resignation) through fax?” visibly upset Kumar told reporters.

Jarkiholi had Monday told a local TV channel that he was in Mumbai and had sent his resignation letter through fax and he would personally give it to the Speaker Tuesday.

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