Bengaluru: After 22 Congress ministers, all nine Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) ministers in the Karnataka coalition government submitted their resignations, Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy said on Monday.
The resignations came as the Congress and the JD(S) made hectic efforts to save their 13-month-old alliance government. As part of the effort, the two parties asked all their ministers to resign to pave the way for reconstitution of the Cabinet to accommodate the disgruntled and rebel MLAs.
The 34-member ministry had 22 ministers from the Congress, 10 from Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) and one each from Karnataka Pragnyavantha Janatha Party (KPJP) and Independent.
In a tweet in Kannada, he said that all the JD-S ministers “have resigned in the same manner” as the Congress ministers did and the “cabinet will be restructured soon”. tweeted Kumaraswamy in Kannada here.
According to sources, the ministers submitted their resignation letters to Kumaraswamy at the JD-S legislature party meeting, held at the direction of party’s supremo H.D. Deve Gowda.
Trouble started on Saturday when 10 Congress and three JD-S lawmakers resigned expressing lack of confidence in the government. However, Assembly Speaker K.R. Ramesh Kumar is yet to decide on the resignations.
Most of the Congress MLAs, who resigned on Saturday last, have left Karnataka and lodged themselves in Mumbai.
Before the resignations, the ruling coalition had 118 MLAs, five more than the required majority mark of 113 in the 225-member Assembly.
They included 78 MLAs of the Congress (excluding the Speaker), 37 of the JD(S), one each from the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and regional outfit Karnataka Pragnyavantha Janata Party (KPJP) and an Independent.
Intensifying the crisis on Monday, Independent Nagesh also resigned as Small-Scale Industries Minister and withdrew support to the coalition government.
“I have this day, tendered my resignation from the council of ministers, headed by (Chief Minister) H.D. Kumaraswamy,” said Nagesh in a letter to Governor Vajubhai Vala.
Nagesh, who handed over the letter to Vala at Raj Bhavan, also mentioned that he was withdrawing his support to the 13-month-old government.
“I would by this letter, inform your good self that I withdraw my support to the government, headed by Kumaraswamy,” said Nagesh.
Nagesh’s resignation comes barely a month after he was inducted into the Cabinet, along with R. Shankar of regional party KPJP (Karnataka Pragyavantara Janata Paksha) to ensure their support to the Kumaraswamy government facing revolt from a dozen Congress rebel legislators since December.
Shankar, who is Municipalities Minister, also tendered his resignation letter to Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Siddaramaiah along with 20 other Congress ministers to pave way for a dozen of its rebels from withdrawing their resignations and making them ministers to save the coalition government from collapsing ahead of the 10-day monsoon session of the state legislature from July 12.
This is the second time Nagesh and Shankar, who represents the Rannebennur Assembly segment, have withdrawn support to the coalition government. They earlier did so on January 15 after being dropped from the ministry on December 22 in a minor cabinet reshuffle-cum-expansion to ensure the government’s stability.
The Congress accused the BJP of wrecking its government in Karnataka. “BJP’s national leaders are behind this political crisis in the state. They do not want any government or any opposition party to rule in any state. They are destroying democracy,” Congress MLA D.K. Suresh told reporters.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders in New Delhi were quick to retort. “The BJP has nothing to do with the political crisis in Karnataka,” Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said in Parliament.”