The simmering tensions in the coalition government in Karnataka have escalated, with two independent MLAs withdrawing support to the HD Kumarasway government.
Amid claims and counter claims of horse trading by the Congress-JDS combine and the opposition BJP, the government hung on precarious balance in the last several weeks.
The two MLAs who withdrew support to the government - R Shankar and H Nagesh -- had apparently disappeared after travelling to Mumbai a couple of days ago.
The MLs released identical statements on Tuesday, announcing their decision. "I would like to bring to your kind attention that I am withdrawing my support extended to the coalition government of Karnataka headed by Congress and JDS parties with immediate effect. Requesting you to take necessary action," the letters read.
The government will not become minority in the Assembly with the withdrawal of support by the two MLAs. The coalition still has the support of 118 MLAs.
Earlier, Congress strongman and minister, DK Shivakumar, had said three MLAs supporting the coalition were in Mumbai, holding talks with BJP. However, chief minister Kumaraswamy had exuded confidence that there was no threat to his government. He even claimed that the three MLS who were incommunicado, had gone to Mumbai after informing him.
Former chief minister BS Yeddyurappa was in New Delhi on Tuesday amid charges of 'Operation Lotus', to review the developments alongside BJP's national leadership.
BJP, which emerged as the single largest party with 104 seats after the assembly elections last year, had formed a ministry government led by Yeddyurappa but had to accept defeat a week later.
In the event, JD-S, which had won a mere 37 seats in the selections formed the government with the Congress support.
However, the tenuous balance in the assembly and the internal squabbles within the ruling coalition have always given hopes to the saffron party.
CM Kumaraswamy dejected?
Last week, CM Kumaraswamy appeared dejected over the fate of his government, saying the Congress leadership in the state had reduced him to the role of a clerk. He later retracted the statement but the divisions in the coalition have been exposed all too often.
Meanwhile the state leadership of Congress reiterated charges that BJP was poaching the MLAs from the coalition.
"We have been saying that the BJP is luring our MLAs through money and power but their attempts to destabilise the government will fail... Our government is stable," Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara said, according to Times Now.