In a big setback to HD Kumaraswamy-led coalition government in Karnataka, two MLAs have withdrawn their support to the state government. The lawmakers who have withdrawn their support are H Nagesh (Independent) and R Shankar (Karnataka Pragnyavanta Janata Paksha). The development comes amid reports of some Congress MLAs go missing.
Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy on 2 Independent MLAs withdraw support from Karnataka government: If 2 MLAs withdraw their support, what will be the numbers? I'm totally relaxed. I know my strength. Whatever is going on in media in the past week, I am enjoying pic.twitter.com/vsmmbdBXSY— ANI (@ANI) January 15, 2019
However, Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy said that he is totally relaxed as his government has the required numbers in the Karnataka Assembly. “If 2 MLAs withdraw their support, what will be the numbers? I'm totally relaxed. I know my strength. Whatever is going on in media in the past week, I am enjoying,” he was quoted as saying by ANI.
Commenting on the development, Deputy Karnataka CM G Parameshwara said that it proves our accusations. "We have been saying that BJP is luring our MLAs through money and power but their attempts to destabilise the govt will fail. Our govt is stable," he said.
"My support to coalition government was to provide a good and stable government which utterly failed. There's is no understanding among coalition partners. So, I decided to go with BJP to install a stable government and see that government performs better than the coalition," Independent MLA H Nagesh said.
2 Independent MLAs, H Nagesh and R Shankar, withdraw their support from Karnataka govt. pic.twitter.com/C34u3BNFOb— ANI (@ANI) January 15, 2019
“Today is Makar Sankranti, on this day we want a change in the government. The govt should be efficient, so I am withdrawing my support (to the Karnataka govt) today,” R Shankar of KPJP.
Both the MLAs have written to Governor Vajubhai Vala conveying their decision. In separate identical letters, available to the media, they said they were withdrawing support extended to the coalition government of the Congress and the JDS with immediate effect.
The MLAs, who are now staying in a Mumbai hotel, requested the governor to take "necessary action."
Congress leader Siddaramaiah said that BJP wants to topple the government and its high command is also involved in this. However, he clarified that the Congress-JD (S) government is completely safe.
In the 224-member Karnataka Assembly, the BJP has 104 members, Congress 80 (including Assembly Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar), Kumaraswamy’s JD (S) has 37, BSP, KPJP and Independent one each. BSP is supporting the coalition government.
Meanwhile, BJP's Ram Shinde has claimed he’s got a feeling that Operation Lotus will be successful in the coming days. “They must have thought that they should join that BJP that received the mandate instead of those who formed an unnatural alliance. I'm getting a feeling that Operation Lotus will be successful in the coming days,” said Ram Shinde, Cabinet Minister in Maharashtra government.
BJP's Ram Shinde on 2 Independent MLAs withdraw support from Karnataka govt: They must have thought that they should join BJP that received the mandate instead of those who formed unnatural alliance. I'm getting a feeling that Operation Lotus will be successful in the coming days pic.twitter.com/5D9P1DlrUH— ANI (@ANI) January 15, 2019
Earlier, Water Resource Minister D K Shivakumar's claimed that three Congress MLAs were camping at a hotel in Mumbai in the ‘company of some BJP leaders’ but the chief minister said that they are in constant touch with him. Not revealing their names, he had said "They are my friends. Those MLAs in Mumbai or 104 BJP MLAs who are in Delhi are all my people, so there is no question of instability to this government."
In a related development, BJP leader BS Yeddyurappa said the party legislators of Karnataka would be in New Delhi for ‘one or two days’ and would later go to their constituencies and begin preparations for the Lok Sabha polls in all the 28 constituencies. Reports suggest that BJP legislators in Delhi were likely to be shifted to Gurgaon, to keep its numbers intact, with Congress and JD(S) allegedly planning to poach BJP MLAs as a retaliatory measure to Operation Lotus.