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Kumaraswamy government inching towards minority as another legislator pulls support

File photo: Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy. Photograph:( Zee News Network )

WION Web Team Bengaluru, Karnataka, India Jul 08, 2019, 11.52 AM (IST)

In a jolt to fragile Janata Dal (Secular)-Congress coalition in Karnataka, independent legislator Nagesh has withdrawn his support to the HD Kumaraswamy government. Nagesh was a serving minister in the state government. He skipped the meeting called at the house of deputy chief minister G Parameshwara and instead went to the Governor's House to submit his resignation.

Nagesh said in his resignation letter that he supports the BJP. Nagesh, the MLA from Mulbgal, was inducted into the state Cabinet in the June 12 expansion.

Nagesh's resignation, if accepted, is going to put further stress on the wafer-thin margin of the ruling coalition. The strength of Karnataka Assembly is going to be reduced to 210 - the ruling coalition will have 104 members. With the bench strength of 105, the opposition BJP will be just one short of the majority mark.

However, Karnataka BJP chief BS Yeddyurappa has said that the party has nothing to do with the current crisis. "We (BJP) have nothing to do with the crisis in the coalition but it is a cause of concern for people of Karnataka," he said on Sunday.

Today's breakfast meeting has been called by the state government to try and placate the rebel MLAs by asking the sitting ministers to resign and giving the ministerial berths to those who have revolted against the government. Thirteen of the 22 Congress ministers are present in the meeting, and sources say all of them have been asked to resign.

Parameshwara has been the first one to offer resignation to save the coalition. "The party will take a decision. If the party says you have to resign I will resign," he said before the meeting.

Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi has, meanwhile, blamed Siddaramaiah for te current crisis. "The Congress party is leaderless now and their internal party problems have spiralled out of their hands. We totally condemn the way our party leaders are being dragged into this matter. This act is not acceptable, the root cause of this crisis is Siddaramaiah," Joshi said.

The Congress-JD (S) government in Karnataka plunged into crisis on Saturday following the resignation of at least 11 MLAs from the membership of the state Assembly. Later in the day, 10 Congress MLAs left for Mumbai where they are said to be lodged in a hotel. JD(S) MLA H Vishwanath claimed that 14 MLAs have jointly tendered resignations to Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar and requested him to accept them.

The Speaker, however, has not yet accepted the resignations.

Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy, who was in the USA, reached Bengaluru on Sunday and immediately took stock of the situation. He is involved in a series of meetings to defuse the crisis.