Refuting claims about him being the reason behind the crisis in the ruling Karnataka coalition, Congress leader Siddaramaiah on Sunday said that everybody is expected to be loyal to the party and not to a particular person.
"I am in touch with 5-6 MLAs. I can't reveal all the details. Everybody is loyal to the party. It is not a question of a person being loyal to me. Everybody is expected to be loyal to the party," Siddaramaiah told reporters when asked about the future course of action.
The statement by the former chief minister comes a day after Parliamentary Affairs Minister Prahlad Joshi claimed that Siddaramaiah could be behind the resignation of the 11 coalition MLAs.
"I feel that Siddaramaiah does not want this government to continue. He is probably trying to once again Chief Minister," he told reporters on Saturday here adding, "We are observing the situation. When the government falls by itself, we can do anything."
The over 13 month-old Karnataka coalition government of Janata Dal (Secular) and the Congress on Saturday slumped into crisis following the resignation of their 11 MLAs from the membership of the state Assembly.
However, JD(S) MLA H Vishwanath said that 14 MLAs have jointly tendered their resignations to Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar and requested him to accept them. However, the Speaker has not yet accepted the resignations.
After this dramatic turn of events, the state government appeared to have fallen into a minority forcing Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy, who is in the US, to cut short his visit. He is expected to fly back here on Sunday.
Responding to the developments, BJP state chief BS Yeddyurappa on Sunday said, "I am going to Tumkur and I will come back at 4 pm. You know about the political developments. Let's wait and see. I do not want to answer to what HD Kumaraswamy and Siddaramaiah say. I am nowhere related to this."
While senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge said he wants the alliance government to continue. "We want that this should go on smoothly," he said.
Siddaramaiah late on Saturday evening held a meeting with the party MLAs where he is believed to have discussed among other things the current political situation in the state. The meeting took place at his house.
The strength of the ruling coalition in Karnataka has come down to 105, which is eight short of the half-way mark of 113 for a majority.
Congress MLAs Anand Singh and Ramesh Jarkiholi resigned from the government earlier this week.
Those MLAs, who resigned from the Assembly, include BC Patil, H Vishwanath, Narayan Gowda, S Hebbar, Mahesh Kumatalli, Gopalayya, Ramesh Jharkiholi, and Pratap Gowda Patil. The dissident MLAs have reached Mumbai and are staying in Sofitel hotel.