Big question mark on survival of Government
• CM seeks postponement of Assembly Session
• Minister H. Nagesh resigns; flies to Mumbai
• Minister S.R. Mahesh blamed for Vishwanath’s resignation
Bengaluru: In a major development in the three-day-old Karnataka political crisis, all 21 Congress Ministers, including Deputy CM Dr. G. Parameshwara have resigned to make way for rebel MLAs to occupy plum posts. But despite all efforts, a resolution seems like a distant goal for the coalition Government.
The resignations were submitted to Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy and Congress Legislature Party leader and former CM Siddharamaiah as an attempt to salvage the situation and accommodate the rebel MLAs within the Cabinet.
Armed with resignation letters, Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy and his Deputy Dr. Parameshwara met Governor Vajubhai Rudabhai Vala at Raj Bhavan and requested him to postpone the Assembly session that was called from July 12 to a later date. In the wake of resignations of Congress Ministers, the Government has to be reconstituted and more time is needed for this, the Governor was told.
The woes of the Congress- JD(S) combine worsened this morning putting a big question mark on the survival of the Government after Mulbagal Independent MLA and Minister H. Nagesh quit his post and said he was ready to support the BJP.
Nagesh flies to Mumbai
Moments after submitting his resignation letter to the Governor, Nagesh flew to Mumbai to join the group of rebel MLAs who are holed up at Sofitel Hotel and Resorts in the upscale Bandra-Kurla Complex in Mumbai.
In his resignation letter, Nagesh expressed willingness to extend support to the BJP in case it stakes claim to form the Government. “I have already withdrawn my support to the Government headed by H.D. Kumaraswamy.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 goodself,” he wrote.
What was the trigger?
Soon after Nagesh left for Mumbai, all 21 Congress Ministers submitted their resignations to placate rebel MLAs and sources said that Nagesh’s resignation triggered en masse resignations of Congress Ministers in a desperate attempt to save the coalition Government.
The development comes even as Kumaraswamy met rebel Congress MLA Ramalinga Reddy amid the ongoing crisis in the State precipitated by the resignation of 13 Congress-JD(S) MLAs, which has threatened to topple the 14-month-old alliance Government.
S.R. Mahesh blamed
Soon after he arrived from the US, Kumaraswamy began marathon meetings with Congress leaders and JD(S) MLAs. He also spoke to his father Deve Gowda and Minister-brother Revanna on how to diffuse the crisis. His meetings went on till late in the night and they remained inconclusive.
According to sources, the coalition leaders agreed to offer Ministerial berths to former JD(S) State President Vishwanath and MLA Gopalaiah, and Board Chairman’s post to K.R. Pet MLA Narayanagowda, but they remained adamant. In the late night meeting, most MLAs blamed Tourism Minister Mahesh for Vishwanath’s resignation, sources said.
Ready for sacrifice
Congress leader D.K. Shivakumar said, “In the interest of the party, we are ready to sacrifice any post. Whatever decision will be taken, AICC General Secretary K.C. Venugopal will brief. The Chief Minister is here, General Secretary is here.” On Minister H. Nagesh’s resignation, Shivakumar said, “He has to submit his resignation to the Chief Minister as per protocol.”
Addressing the media over the current crisis, Venugopal said, “We do agree a situation has arisen. Some have grievances, of course. In a democracy, we cannot accommodate everyone. Yesterday and today we had detailed discussion. Today we met all Ministers. The Ministers themselves voluntarily resigned and entrusted party to reshuffle.”