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Karnataka government: 2 Independent MLAs withdraw support

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Two Independent MLAs, H Nagesh and R Shankar, have withdrawn their support from Kumaraswamy government.
  • In the 224-member assembly, BJP has 104 members, Congress-79, JDS 37, BSP, KPJP and Independent one each, besides Speaker.
  • There are speculations that six to eight Congress MLAs are ready to jump ship to the BJP side.

BENGALURU/NEW DELHI: In a setback for the Congress-JD(S) coalition, two Independent MLAs, H Nagesh and R Shankar, on Tuesday withdrew their support to the Karnataka government headed by H D Kumaraswamy.

In separate identical letters, the lawmakers said they were withdrawing support extended to the coalition government of the Congress and the JDS with immediate effect.

A fresh political war erupted in Karnataka on Monday as the ruling Congress-JD(S) coalition and opposition BJP accused each other of making a renewed bid to poach each other’s MLAs, with chief minister H D Kumaraswamy saying he has “sufficient numbers” to run a stable government.

Amid speculation that six to eight Congress MLAs are ready to jump ship to the BJP side and some lawmakers of the ruling coalition going incommunicado, Kumaraswamy said there was no question of “instability” in his government.

In the 224-member assembly, BJP has 104 members, Congress-79, JD(S) 37, BSP, KPJP and Independents one each, besides Speaker. BSP, KPJP and an Independent are supporting the coalition.

As the Congress-JD(S) combine accused the BJP of luring away its MLAs offering bribes and other allurements, BJP state chief B S Yeddyurappa rubbished reports that his party was attempting ‘Operation Lotus’ to topple the government.

He said there was no truth in the charge and alleged that the Congress-JD(S) combine was trying to woo his party MLAs.

Media reports about Congress MLAs willing to cross over to the BJP and some remaining incommunicado fuelled speculation about a possible threat to the government.

Adding to the speculation was BJP holding up all its 104 MLAs, who had gone to the national capital for the party national council meeting, in Delhi itself and having meetings.

Operation Lotus’ is a reference to the BJP allegedly luring several opposition MLAs to defect to ensure stability of its then-government headed by B S Yeddyurappa in 2008.

“I have sufficient numbers for giving a stable government here, it is not necessary for Congress or JD(S) to poach the MLAs from BJP, we have sufficient numbers,” Kumaraswamy said.

Kumaraswamy said he enjoyed the support of 120 MLAs and Yeddyurappa was making “futile attempts” to destabilise his government.

“In which BJP MLAs name rooms were reserved in which resort, how many rooms were reserved.How many Congress-JD(S) they were making attempts to lure and take them away..don’t I have the information,” he said.

“The coalition government enjoys support of 120 MLAs,” he said.

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