As the stage is set for a major political showdown starting Thursday in the wake of a spate of resignations threatening the existence of the coalition government in Karnataka, Bengaluru Police Commissioner Alok Kumar has issued prohibitory orders under section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code, restricting the gathering of more than five persons and any form of protests within the two-km area around the Vidhana Soudha.
The police commissioner issued the orders on Wednesday night, taking into account intelligence inputs. The prohibitory orders came into effect on Thursday when Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy is scheduled to chair a cabinet meeting in the backdrop of 16 MLAs, including Housing Minister M T B Nagaraj, resigning and two Independent legislators -- R Shankar and H Nagesh -- withdrawing support to the Congress-JD(S) coalition government on Wednesday.
Assembly Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar is yet to accept the resignations of the MLAs. Kumar has said he has to first hear the legislators. He has also pointed out that of the 16 resignations of the MLAs, only five were in the proper format. The developments surfaced well ahead of the Assembly session starting Friday.
The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has asked Kumaraswamy to step down, claiming that his government has lost the majority.
The saffron party has also urged the governor to step in following the crisis. "We have petitioned the governor seeking his intervention. We may even move a no-confidence motion against the government. We will urge the governor to direct the government to prove its majority," BJP MLC and party spokesperson N Ravikumar told PTI.