Congress sources say that MLAs demanded that the party withdraw support from coalition government and sit in the opposition.

Cong MLAs unhappy with Ktaka coalition tell leaders to pull the plug Sources
news Politics Tuesday, July 16, 2019 - 18:39

Early on Monday morning, the Congress’ 65 legislators, who are still with the party met at Taj Vivanta in Bengaluru’s Yeshwanthpur to discuss a crucial issue – must the Congress withdraw its support from the coalition or should it try to convince the rebelling MLAs cooped up in Mumbai to return?

Congress insiders say that several MLAs expressed their concerns over expressing solidarity with the JD(S) as most of the renegade MLAs had placed the blame squarely on Chief Minister HD Kumaraswmay’s shoulders for rebelling against their own party. Congress sources say that the legislators demanded that the party withdraw its support from the coalition government and willingly sit in the opposition to avoid further embarrassment.

“Most of the MLAs were of the opinion that staying in the opposition and building up a strong base for the party is the only thing Congress must do. Most of them are concerned about the BJP and JD(S) making inroads into Old Mysuru,” the source said.

A Congress leader told TNM that several veterans were of the opinion that the JD(S) was only using the Congress’ support in the government for its own gains. “They [JD(S)] are gaining ground in Mysuru segment. GT Devegowda and Sa Ra Mahesh have been using this opportunity to destroy the Congress in segments which matter. In the meantime, BJP has gotten stronger in central Karnataka. The party must concentrate on becoming strong enough to face elections in four years and not play a game which is futile,” the Congress leader said.

The leaders were allegedly unhappy that Deputy CM Parameshwara and Water Resources Minister DK Shivakumar had supported HD Kumaraswamy and his brother PWD Minister HD Revanna when MLAs had complained about their high-handedness and refusal to cooperate in running the government.

“Many leaders were blaming Lakshmi Hebbalkar, who is DK Shivakumar’s supporter for the whole drama. The crisis started when Ramesh Jarkiholi rebelled against the party after the PLD Bank elections. Lakshmi Hebbalkar was elected with the help of Dk Shivakumar. Soon after that many more MLAs were being convinced by Ramesh to join him in his rebellion. Many were convinced that Kumaraswamy and HD Revanna would only destroy their reputations. They also were not happy that DK Shivakumar was supporting Kumaraswamy,” the Congress leader alleged.

However, insider say that Water Resources Minister DK Shivakumar and his supporters are still confident of pulling a rabbit out of the hat and convincing the rebel MLAs to return to the party.

“DK Shivakumar informed the leaders that he would at least try to bring back five or six MLAs before the trust vote. They also proposed seeking more time from the Speaker Ramesh Kumar for this purpose. Now that they have a two-day respite, the seniors are trying to convince the rebels. But a majority of the MLAs are of the opinion that withdrawing support from the coalition before the trust vote would give the Congress a chance to recover from this drama,” the Congress leader added. 

Sixteen MLAs of the coalition – including three JD(S) MLAs and 13 Congress MLAs – have so far submitted their resignation letters to the Speaker. Most of the MLAs in the state are lodged in various resorts across cities: The Congress MLAs are put up in Taj Vivanta in Yeshwanthpur, JD(S) leaders are at Prestige Golfshire and the BJP MLAs are at Ramada hotel in Yelahanka and Sai Leela hotel in Rajanakunte.

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