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Why should I resign, says Kumaraswamy

Friday, July 12, 2019

Bengaluru: Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy yesterday rejected demands for his resignation in the wake of 16 Congress-JD(S) MLAs quitting, which has pushed his 13-month old coalition government to the brink of collapse.

His response comes a day after the Karnataka unit of the BJP, led by its chief B S Yeddyurappa, staged a protest at the Vidhan Soudha, demanding the resignation of Kumaraswamy, who they claimed had lost majority in the House.

"Why should I resign? What is the necessity for me to resign now?," Kumaraswamy shot back to reporters here, amidst the speculation that he could put in his papers in the wake of the crisis.

He recalled that in 2009-10, 18 MLAs, including some ministers, had "opposed" the then chief minister BS Yeddyurappa of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) but he had not resigned.

The chief minister held discussions with senior Congress leaders yesterday, after the coalition government headed by him suffered a fresh jolt with two more Congress legislators resigning on Wednesday, talking the tally of MLAs who have put in their papers to 16.

The Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) coalition faces the threat of losing its majority in the Assembly if the resignations are accepted as its current tally is 116 in the 224 member House.

Congress MLAs MTB Nagaraj and K Sudhakar submitted their resignations to Assembly Speaker Ramesh Kumar at his chamber in Vidhana Soudha, the state secretariat, on Wednesday.

Yeddyurappa and other BJP leaders had petitioned the governor in connection with the political developments in the state.

Of the 16 MLAs who have resigned, 13 are from the Congress and three from the JD(S). The coalition's strength in the House is 116 (Congress 78, JD(S) 37 and BSP one), besides the speaker.

Disgruntled MLAs approaching SC made things 'murky': Karna Speaker
Bengaluru:
Ahead of his meeting with the disgruntled Congress and JD(S) MLAs, Karnataka Assembly Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar yesterday said the legislators approaching the Supreme Court made things appear "murky."  The Congress and JD(S) MLAs, who had resigned from the Assembly are slated to meet the Speaker by 6 PM, in accordance with the Apex court.  "I had not prevented them (disgruntled MLAs) from coming (to my office). I don't know why they moved the Supreme Court to meet me," Kumar told reporters outside the Vidhana Soudha here.

"There was no need for them (MLAs who resigned) to approach the Court (for a direction) that I should meet them. They could have willingly come here. That itself shows the whole thing is murky," he said.

Kumar further said he had never declined to meet any legislator.

To a query whether he would decide on the resignations today itself, the Speaker said the top court has asked him to take a call on the matter but not what decision has to be taken.

The Supreme Court yesterday allowed 10 rebel MLAs of the Congress-JD(S) coalition in Karnataka to meet the assembly Speaker at 6 pm to convey to him their decision to resign.

The bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi asked the Karnataka Assembly Speaker to decide on the resignation of the MLAs during the course of the day and intimate the court on Friday about the decision taken by him.

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