Karnataka Water Resources Minister DK Shivakumar’s appeal comes with just hours to go for the trust vote deadline, set by the Speaker.

BJP is organising your political funeral DK Shivakumars last-min appeal to rebel MLAs
news Politics Tuesday, July 23, 2019 - 15:37

A pall of gloom has descending on the ruling Congress-JD(S) benches of the Karnataka Assembly. The trust vote is slated to take place at 5pm on Tuesday and Water Resources Minister DK Shivakumar's impassioned appeal to the rebels to return seemed like a last-minute attempt to save the government. Known as Congress' Man Friday, DK Shivakumar, who generally exudes confidence in the face of a crisis, turned emotional and accused his "friends in Bombay" (referring to the rebels lodged in a Mumbai hotel) of stabbing him in the back. An angry Shivakumar, whose voice quivered as he made his speech in Karnataka Assembly, vowed that the rebel MLAs would never be made Ministers in the BJP government, if it ever came to be.

"I am going to speak. I have every right to. I am deeply hurt and I feel betrayed. The people who I worked with for decades, with whom I broke bread, worked and considered family have broken my trust. They were a part of my political family and they stabbed me in the back. My stomach churns just thinking of it," DK Shivakumar said. Addressing the BJP MLAs in the Assembly, Shivakumar said that his party (Congress) was not delaying the trust vote unnecessarily and that the legislators who were hurt had every right to express their emotions.

"I am telling you (BJP MLAs) this. Tomorrow, you will also be stabbed in the back and I am telling you today. Those friends of mine you have under lock and key, they will never be made Ministers if you come to power," he said.

Shivakumar appealed to the MLAs to return "home" and accused the BJP of trying to sabotage their political careers. Shivakumar said that the fate of the rebels would be to run from pillar to post, from one court to another, trying to sort out the "mess the BJP landed them in".

"I am asking you my friends (referring to the MLAs) please come back. It hurts me to see the BJP organise your political funeral. Next we all must visit you with garlands in our hands to moan the demise of your careers. You cannot become ministers. The BJP is duping you. Open your eyes," DK Shivakumar said.

Shivakumar was referring to the MLAs being potentially disqualified under article 164 i (a), where a legislator can be disqualified for aligning himself/herself with another party and also for indulging in anti-party activities.

"We don't need to issue a whip to disqualify them. You cannot become ministers (referring to them not being able to take up the post without winning bye-elections)," DK Shivakumar warned.

He also issued an open challenge to Hoskote MLA MTB Nagaraj, Shivakumar's trusted associate that his next battle would be to end Nagaraj in his own political game.

"When I called MTB Nagaraj, he told me that the BJP would make him a minister... He was my friend. He betrayed me... My next battle will be in Hoskote against him," Shivakumar said.

The strength of the Karnataka Assembly is 224 including the Speaker. Currently, the coalition has 100 MLAs on its side including the Speaker and the BSP MLA Mahesh. This after 16 MLAs resigned and two independents withdrew support from the coalition. One of the Congress MLAs, B Nagendra, has been hospitalized, while another legislator Shrimant Patil admitted himself in a Mumbai hospital claiming he was unwell. The BJP has 107 (105 MLAs plus two independents).

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