Asserting that the coalition government in Karnataka had lost majority, the state BJP Sunday demanded the Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy immediately resign or seek a trust vote on Monday itself.
"I demand that the Chief Minister, if he is honest and cares for the democratic system, he should immediately resign or should move a motion seeking for trust vote on Monday itself," state BJP chief B S Yeddyurappa said. Speaking to reporters here, he said, sixteen MLAs of JD(S) and Congress have resigned, and also two independents have withdrawn support to the government, and extended it to the BJP.
"You (Kumaraswamy) don't have majority. So let them (coalition) ask for confidence vote or reign immediately. Tomorrow in the Business Advisory Committee meeting I will advise same thing to Kumaraswamy and discuss," he added. In a surprise move amid the existential crisis faced by his government, Kumaraswamy had on Friday announced in the state Assembly that he has voluntarily decided to seek a trust vote to end the "confusion" caused by resignations of rebel MLAs and requested the Speaker to fix time for the same.
According to sources, at the Business Advisory Committee meeting on Friday Kumaraswamy had proposed that the trust vote be held on Wednesday. However, no decision was taken as the principal opposition BJP did not attend the meeting.
Yeddyurappa's statement came, even as efforts by coalition leaders to mollify rebel Congress MLA M T B Nagaraj seemed to have failed as he has flown to Mumbai Sunday. Leaders of the Congress-JD(S) coalition had held negotiations with Nagaraj on Saturday in a bid to woo him back to save the H D Kumaraswamy-led government that is on the brink of collapse.
Pointing out that the Chief Minister has said that without the support of MLAs he will not continue and will seek a trust vote, Yeddyurappa said, despite all their efforts Congress rebel MLAs M T B Nagaraj and K Sudhakar have said they will not withdraw their resignations and have gone (to Mumbai). He also stated that 15 MLAs have approached the Supreme Court and the court may also come to a decision on Tuesday.
Five rebel Congress MLAs had moved to the Supreme Court on Saturday against the Assembly Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar for not accepting their resignations. MLAs Anand Singh, K Sudhakar, N Nagaraj (MTB), Munirathna and Roshan Baig have sought impleadment in the already pending application filed by the 10 other rebel MLAs on which hearing is scheduled for Tuesday.
The coalition government, which has been shaky since it came into being last year after a post-poll arrangement in the wake of a hung verdict, is facing a serious crisis now with 16 MLAs--13 of the Congress and three of the JD(S)-- resigning their assembly membership. Besides, two Independent legislators, who were made ministers recently to provide stability to the government, have quit the ministry and withdrawn support.
The ruling coalition's total strength is 116 (Congress-78, JD(S)-37 and BSP-1), besides the Speaker. With the support of the two independents, the BJP has 107 MLAs in the 224-member House, where the half-way mark is 113. If the resignations of the 16 MLAs are accepted, the coalition's tally will be reduced to 100.