In another statement to quell the talk of political tension in Karnataka, Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara claimed that all 118 Congress-JD(S) legislators in the state are with the coalition government. He also added that BJP's attempt to destabilise the government will end in failure.
Parameshwara also attributed the crisis to the December cabinet reshuffle. "Whenever there is a reshuffle in the ministry, there is bound to be frustration among leaders who did not get positions. They will express their feelings and we will deal with it. The BJP wanted to make use of this opportunity and tried to take initiative and take our MLAs to their fold. But this attempt has failed." Parameshwara said in a press conference at the Taj West End Hotel in Bengaluru.
'Congress MLAs in Mumbai hotel will return'
He also criticised the BJP for their attempts to speak to party MLAs and defended his party's actions over the past two days. "If BJP is destabilising our government do you think we should keep quiet? We should have discussions so that nothing happens," Parameshwara said. He confirmed that all 118 Congress legislators were with the party and claimed that the "few" MLAs who were camped in a Mumbai hotel will return to Bengaluru this week after talks with senior party leaders including DK Shivakumar and MB Patil.
"The lust for power is not rooted in strength but in weakness."â€” Dr. G Parameshwara (@DrParameshwara) January 15, 2019
BJP's anxiety is palpable and difficult to hide. While their ethical standards are hitting a new low, it's leaders are busy receiving "first-ever" marketing awards!
The Deputy Chief Minister was speaking a day after two independent MLAs - R Shankar and H Nagesh - in the Karnataka Assembly withdrew their support to the coalition government ruling in the state. The MLAs had gone incommunicado before announcing to the press that they have withdrawn their support to the government. Reports emerged on Sunday that few Congress MLAs were camped at the Renaissance Hotel in Mumbai and were speaking to BJP leaders. All BJP MLAs from the state are still in Gurgaon and are expected to return to the state on Thursday.
The coalition government now has 118 legislators in the 224-member Legislative Assembly, while the BJP has 106 MLAs including the two independents. The majority mark or magic number is 113.
BJP trying to send message of bigger failure
The exit of the independent MLAs also comes months before the Lok Sabha elections in which the Congress and the JD(S) have confirmed they will be contesting together. "I see a bigger scheme in this. When we took oath most non-BJP leaders attended it. If this alliance is not successful then the message will be that the bigger alliance will fail," added Parameshwara.
Karnataka's Congress MLAs will regroup in Bengaluru on Friday and according to Parameshwara, the discussion in the meeting will be focused on the upcoming budget and the recent political developments in the state. The meeting will be chaired by former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah who is also the Chairman of the Coalition Coordination Committee set up to ensure the smooth running of the JD(S)-Congress government.
It remains to be seen whether any Congress leaders will follow the two independent MLAs in withdrawing their support to the coalition government.