In a fresh bout of trouble for the Janata Dal (Secular)-Congress government in Karnataka, two Congress MLAs, Mr. Anand Singh and Mr. Ramesh Jarkiholi, resigned bringing the party’s strength to 77.
Mr. Singh is from Vijaynagara in Ballari district, while Mr. Jarkiholi is from Gokak in Belagavi and both had been identified with the 'rebel' camp that is bent on destabilising the government.
Despite speculation that more resignations under way, the number stuck at two at the end of the day. These developments come even as the Chief Minister, Mr. H.D. Kumaraswamy, is in the U.S. on a private visit.
Mr. Singh submitted his resignation to the Speaker,Mr. K.R. Ramesh Kumar, and later met the Governor, Mr. Vajubhai Vala, at the Raj Bhavan before making the announcement.
He cited the state government’s decision to sell 3,667.31 acres to JSW Steel in Ballari and the 'injustice' meted out to the district as the main reasons for his resignation.
Mr. Jarkiholi, who had faxed his resignation to the Speaker, has been threatening to quit ever since he was dropped from the Cabinet in December 2018. He has also been leading a group of disgruntled Congress MLAs.The Congress has been fighting dissidence since the coalition government was formed.
Several MLAs have been openly critical of the party and staying away from legislature party meetings.Both JD (S) and Congress, however, exude confidence on the government's survival. 'I am watching all the developments from here. The BJP is daydreaming about destabilising the government,' M. Kumaraswamy tweeted all the way from the US.
The BJP leaders continued to maintain that they were monitoring the situation but were not involved in 'Operation Lotus' to destabilise the government.The state BJP president and former chief minister, Mr. B.S. Yeddyurappa, said party members were 'not sanyasis' and would explore possibilities of forming a government if the Congress-JD(S) coalition government falls.