‘Come back or be disqualified’: Siddaramaiah’s warning to rebel Cong MLAs

‘Come back or be disqualified’: Siddaramaiah’s warning to rebel Cong MLAs
‘Come back or be disqualified’: Siddaramaiah’s warning to rebel Cong MLAs

Karnataka Congress leader Siddaramaiah on Tuesday lashed out at the BJP accusing it of attempting to destabilise the HD Kumaraswamy government in the state even as the party’s rebel MLAs shifted to a secret location in Mumbai.

“This government has been in existence for over a year. Ever since this coalition government was formed the BJP, despite the fact that they failed to prove majority on the floor of the house when opportunity was given to them, have tried to destabilise this government constantly,” the Congress leader said after a meeting of the Congress Legislature Party in Bengaluru.

Referring to the rebel MLAs, Siddaramaiah said: “According to us these are anti-party activities and they have colluded with the BJP. These people are trapped. Even now I request them to come back, withdraw their resignations. The party has taken a decision requesting their disqualification.”

Siddaramaiah added “ the resignations of MLAs were not voluntary and genuine. .. Speaker should be satisfied . Under the 10th schedule the Speaker is Supreme.”

This followed Assembly Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar’s statement earlier in the day that he would act ‘according to the Constitution’.

All eyes are now on Kumar, who has to take a call on 13 resignations – nine Congress and three JD(S) MLAs , and rebel lawmaker Anand Singh who quit a week ago.

If their resignations are accepted, the strength of the House falls from 224 (one additional member is nominated) to 211 and the majority mark becomes 106. The coalition will have 104 members (including the Speaker who cannot vote in a floor test, except to break a tie) while the BJP will have the support of 105, and the likely backing of two independents.

In a last ditch effort to save the government, HD Kumaraswamy and top coalition leaders held multiple meetings on Monday and announced that all 32 ministers had resigned in a bid to make room for some of the disgruntled leaders. But the strategy appeared to have floundered with several rebel leaders reiterating their commitment to quit the coalition.

Last night, Congress leaders KC Venugopal, Dinesh Gundu Rao, Siddaramaiah, G Parameshwara, MB Patil, and Eshwara Khandre also held a meeting at an undisclosed location with legal advisers, ANI reports.

Adding to the Congress-JDS coalition’ headache was the resignations of two independent MLAs – H Nagesh and R Shankar, who were a part of the government. This took the leaders by surprise because both had been inducted into the Cabinet in June to stabilise the government.

Meanwhile, the BJP has demanded the resignation of HD Kumaraswamy, saying he has lost the confidence of the House. The party’s state unit president BS Yeddyurappa claimed that the government has lost the majority in the Assembly and Kumaraswamy has no moral right to continue.

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