A file photo of Congress President Rahul Gandhi and Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy.

‘Govt is Stable’: K’taka CM on Independent MLAs Exiting Coalition

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Two independent MLAs in the Karnataka Assembly – R Shankar and H Nagesh – on Tuesday, 15 January, withdrew their support from the JD(S)-Congress coalition government ruling in the state. These two MLAs had gone incommunicado two days ago before announcing their decision in Mumbai at a press conference.

The Congress-JD(S) coalition, along with the support of the solitary BSP MLA, has 117 seats in the House, out of a total of 224 seats.

New power equations in Karnataka.
(Photo: The Quint)
  • Kumaraswamy said he was relaxed, as he is confident of the strength of the Karnataka Assembly
    AICC core members will be meeting in New Delhi to discuss the situation in Karnataka
  • The BJP MLAs with the Independents together account for 106 seats
  • The magic number to form the government in Karnataka is 113 seats

I am in touch With Everyone: HD Kumaraswamy

Reiterating his stand, Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy said, “No one (Congress MLAs) will be shifted to any resort. There is no necessity for that. I am relaxed, you (media) are taking tension.”

When asked about reports of CM being in touch with BJP MLAs, he said: “Let’s see what happens in the coming days.”

“The MLAs may not be reachable for you (media) but they are reachable for me. I am in touch everyone. I am keeping track of every development. Who all requires protection and who we should be cautious about, I am aware. I know what steps have to be taken, and I will take them.”
HD Kumaraswamy, Karnataka Chief Minister

He denied the reports that he had confrontations with Congress’s Karnataka in-charge KC Venugopal.

“He is the responsible person, assigned as the in-charge secretary of the Congress. He is here. I’m not irresponsible. Whatever the situations is, I have explained it to him.”

“It is not necessary for go for operation (poaching) on BJP MLAs. My numbers are sufficient. I have enough numbers with me. Why should I go for operation (poaching) on BJP MLAs?”

No Need to Hype It up so Much: Deve Gowda

JD(S) President and former Chief Minister of Karnataka, HD Deve Gowda said, “The two MLAs (who withdrew support from Karnataka Govt) are not affiliated with any party. They are independents. There is no need to hype it up so much. It is all a media hype.”

Our MLAs Went to Mumbai for Holidays: Zameer Ahmed Khan

Amid speculations of BJP attempting to poach Karnataka Congress MLAs in Mumbai, Congress’ Zameer Ahmed Khan has expressed confidence in the party’s strength. He has also asserted that Congress MLAs were, in fact, holidaying in Mumbai and will be back on Wednesday.

“Our MLAs went to Mumbai for holidays, they’ll be back by tomorrow. As per media, the number (of MLAs withdrawing support) is increasing but according to us, it’s decreasing. For us, it has come down to two from 15-16. Akalmand ko ishaara kaafi hai (indication is enough for the clever).”
Zameer Ahmed Khan

Amit Shah Told Yeddyurappa to Gather 20 MLAs: BJP Source

A BJP source claimed that Amit Shah had instructed Yeddyurappa to gather 20 MLAs.

“There are only a handful of leaders now. When Yeddyurappa approached Amit Shah with the idea, he was instructed to gather 20 MLAs. Amit Shah said the party would not support the operation otherwise. This may seem like a big number but bringing down a government is not easy and Amit Shah wants bargaining chips.”
BJP source, as reported by TNM

The BJP source also told PTI that the party's leadership may also hold talks with JD(S) and support the party from outside.

“BJP is willing to form a coalition with JDS if Deve Gowda refrains from indulging in dynasty politics. JD(S) does not want Yeddyurappa to become the CM. That’s why Amit Shah wants 20 MLAs in order to bargain for a better deal if need be. Going for a trust vote and forming a government is not so easy.”
BJP source, as reported by TNM

According to TNM, he added: “There will be bypolls and if the BJP does not win there the whole operation would end up failing.”

JD(S) In Talks With 8 BJP MLAs, Claims Party Insider

A JD(S) insider, reportedly, told TNM that the party is in touch with around eight BJP leaders as a counter to the BJP's poaching operation.

“Our party leaders have been approached by BJP. They have been offered plum posts and huge amounts of money to vote in favour of the BJP. But our leaders have refused. If they can stoop to such levels even we can. We have also been in touch with BJP leaders who are willing to offer their support.” 
JD(S) source

Meanwhile, the BJP claims to have the support of 7 Congress MLAs who have been lodged at the Renaissance Hotel in Mumbai, reported TNM.