The end seems near for the Congress and JD(S) coalition government in Karnataka after the resignation spree of MLAs. HD Kumaraswamy is now likely to resign as the chief minister as the strength in 224-seat Assembly has now come down to 104 seats.
A total of 14 MLAs have resigned since Saturday which seems to be an inevitable and imminent collapse of the coalition. A major blow to Congress was its senior leader Ramalinga Reddy's resignation which has shattered the party image.
Reddy said that he has only resigned from his MLA post, not from the party membership. He had earlier slammed the party leadership for neglecting the senior leaders and was against the partnership with JD(S).
Many of Congress Legislative Party leader Siddaramaiah's loyalists, including S T Somashekar, Byrathi Basavaraj and Muniratna, have also quit the party. It is also alleged that Shivajinagar MLA R Roshan Baig is also set to resign from the party after flagging off the Hajj pilgrimage on Sunday.
The 10 rebel leaders of Congress and JD(S), who submitted their resignation to the speaker KR Ramesh Kumar, left for Mumbai late on Saturday and are camping at Sofitel Hotel.
Karnataka minister and Congress leader Zameer Ahmad said that the disgruntled MLAs will return as they have no other choice. "Where else will they go? The resignations have not been accepted yet," he said.
A distorted political drama took place at Vidhana Soudha on Saturday with the MLAs coming to submit their resignations. While the discussions were ripe that the rebel MLAs wanted senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge to become the next CM. Kharge reacted to the present political uproar in the state saying that "many of the MLAs who want to leave Congress have been associated with the party for a long time. I've faith that they will stay with us and support the party."
While the coalition leaders have blamed BJP for the resignation spree terming it as 'Operation Lotus 3.0', the BJP state president BS Yeddyurappa said that they have no role in it.
"I and my party have nothing to do with the recent developments in other rival parties. I heard through media that Congress-JDS legislators have resigned from their Karnataka Assembly seats. I'm categorically reiterating that BJP has absolutely no say on the issue," he said.
JD(S) supremo HD Devegowda has also asked the party leadership not to take any action over the issue until CM HD Kumaraswamy returns from the US.