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'Alliance Govt Is Safe': Karnataka Congress Puts Up Brave Face after 2 MLAs Resign from Assembly

The meeting of Congress leaders on Monday assumed particular significance in the wake of many rumours that the resignations of three or four more MLAs would soon follow.

Revathi Rajeevan, Deepa Balakrishnan

Updated:July 2, 2019, 7:11 AM IST
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'Alliance Govt Is Safe': Karnataka Congress Puts Up Brave Face after 2 MLAs Resign from Assembly
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Bengaluru: The resignations of two Congress MLAs from the Karnataka Assembly on Monday sent ripples across the political circles in the state, with the Congress going into a huddle to keep its flock together.

The resignation of Vijayanagar MLA Anand Singh, followed by that of Gokak legislator Ramesh Jarkiholi, sent the party's top leadership into shock, with former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah calling a meeting of major strategists of the party on Monday evening on the way ahead.

The meeting particularly assumed significance in the wake of many rumours that the resignations of three or four more MLAs would soon follow. Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara, Water Resources Minister and troubleshooter DK Shivakumar, party president Dinesh Gundu Rao, and party working president Eshwar Khandre met at Siddaramaiah's residence soon after news about the resignations came forth.

The resignations, coming as they did suddenly when Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy is away in the United States for a week, left many Congress leaders shocked. Most, when asked about the resignations, said they heard about it from the media.

In the 224-member Assembly, the Opposition BJP has 105 MLAs but is eight short of a simple majority. The Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) coalition, with the support of one Independent and a Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) MLA, is functioning with a wafer-thin majority that has been shaky from the start since May 2018. The BJP has earlier attempted to bring down the coalition government on at least three occasions, when it allegedly tried to woo MLAs from the JDS and Congress.

Gundu Rao said the ones who had resigned were under severe pressure from the Opposition BJP on some ground or the other.

“You know how the BJP operates. Putting immense pressure, threatening them. The government is safe, no issues, we know how to respond," Rao told News18.

The resignations come at a time when the Congress party itself is in a state of flux -- all office-bearers were sacked last week, except for the president and the working president. This was an effort to entirely re-organise the party in the wake of the debacle suffered in the Lok Sabha elections two months back.

“Yes, the MLAs have resigned but there is a lot of hype to it that this government is going to fall. That is not going to happen,” Rao said, adding they also have plans to woo MLAs from the BJP if the need arises.

“We didn't want to get into that — a reverse operation. But now I think it is inevitable," he told News18.

BJP’s KS Eshwarappa said that Congress leaders themselves know that more MLAs are going to quit the party soon, but want to brush it off.

“It is better if Kumaraswamy resigns respectfully now. Else, at a later point, he may have to step down after suffering humiliation," Eshwarappa said.

Karnataka BJP chief BS Yeddyurappa said Singh's resignation reflects large-scale unease in the ruling coalition and the government will collapse under its own weight, after which his party will explore the constitutional provisions to form the new government.

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