In a severe jolt to the 13-month-old coalition government in Karnataka, eight Congress and three Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) legislators on Saturday submitted their resignations in the Assembly Speaker’s office.
“I came to know from my personal secretary that 11 legislators gave resignation letters in my office. They were acknowledged with receipts. I will go through them on Tuesday (July 9) as I am on leave on Monday,” Speaker K.R. Ramesh Kumar told reporters at his residence here.
Congress sources in New Delhi said state in-charge K.C. Venugopal, who is in Kerala presently, was rushing to Bengaluru and would meet the Congress MLAs in the evening.
The eight Congress MLAs who resigned are Pratapgauda Patil (Maski), B.C. Patil (Hirekerur), Ramesh Jarkiholi (Gokak), Shivram Hebbar (Yellapur) and Mahesh Kumatahalli (Athani), Ramalinga Reddy (BTM Layout), S.T Somashekar (Yeshvantpur) and S.N. Subba Reddy (KGF in Kolar).
The three JD-S MLAs are A.H. Vishwanath (Hunsur), N. Narayana Gowda (K.R. Pete) and Gopalaiah (Mahalakshmim).
“As the Speaker was not in the office, the legislators submitted their resignation letters to his personal assistant,” a party official told IANS here.
Though Jarkiholi had sent his resignation on July 1, it was not accepted by the Speaker, as it was faxed to his office, which is against the procedure.
Congress legislator Anand Singh from Vijayanagara segment had also resigned on July 1. As he personally handed over his resignation letter to the Speaker, his office acknowledged receiving it.
As the legislators could not meet the Speaker, they went to the Raj Bhavan to apprise Governor Vajubhai Vala of their decision to resign.
Of the Congress legislators, Reddy, a seven-time lawmaker, was a Cabinet minister in the previous Siddaramaiah-led government.
Three more Congress legislators, including Reddy’s daughter Soumya (Jayanagar), Byarti Basavaraj (K.R. Puram) and Munirathna (R.R. Nagar) are also reportedly mulling to resign.
In the 225-member Assembly, the coalition government had 118 members, five over than the halfway mark of 113. These include Congress’s 79 (excluding the Speaker), the JD-S’s 37 and three more – one each from the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and regional outfit Karnataka Pragnyavantha Janatha Party (KPJP) and an Independent.
The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party has 105.