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New Delhi
Friday 24 January 2020

This is the hotel where rebel MLAs of Congress are putting up

If the resignations of the rebel MLAs are accepted, the ruling coalition (of 118 MLAs) will lose the majority in the 224-member Karnataka Assembly

New Delhi: Senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge has said that BJP is trying to destabilise the Karnataka government by engineering a “defection”. On the other hand, senior leader of the party in the State and ‘troubleshooter’ DK Shivakumar has admitted that he had torn down the resignation letters of the rebel legislators, carried away by emotions. He said, “Let them complain against me. I have taken a big risk. I have done this to save my party.”

The Congress-JD(S) coalition government in Karnataka is facing a major crisis while Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy is in the US. After 13 MLAs resigned from the coalition, 11 of the rebel legislators were flown to Mumbai in private jets. They are putting up at the five-star Hotel Sofitel.

Kharge says that the BJP is weakening regional parties, which is not right. “It’s not been even a year that the Karnataka election happened. I am afraid there is no democracy in the country,” the former Lok Sabha leader of the Congress said.

Significantly, a cloud of uncertainty hovers over the Kumaraswamy government in Karnataka. So far, 13 rebel MLAs have resigned. The ruling coalition, which has 118 members, faces the risk of losing the majority in the 224-member Assembly if the resignations are accepted.

The crisis, which had been brewing ever since the BJP swept the parliamentary polls in the State, deepened as the group of MLAs reached the Speaker’s office to put in their papers and later met Governor Vajubhai Vala at the Raj Bhavan. “Fourteen MLAs from Congress and JDS, including Anand Singh, have submitted resignation from the Assembly to the Speaker,” JDS MLA AH Vishwanath said after meeting the Governor.

However, Assembly secretariat sources said a total of 13 MLAs have put in their papers, including Singh who submitted his resignation to the Speaker earlier this week.

All these MLAs have reached Mumbai where they have been stationed in Hotel Sofitel. Meanwhile, the chief minister of the State has left for New York from India rather than trying to save his government.

The Congress has convened an emergency meeting in Delhi to deal with the crisis of rebel MLAs in Karnataka where the BJP has been accused of ‘buying’ the legislators.

If the resignations of the rebel MLAs are accepted, the ruling coalition (of 118 MLAs) will lose the majority in the 224-member Karnataka Assembly. The BJP has 105 MLAs, which may gain strength if these MLAs join the party that rules at the Centre.

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