Two independent MLAs – H Nagesh and R Shankar – withdrew their support for the JD(S)-Congress coalition government in Karnataka.

I am totally relaxed Ktaka CM Kumaraswamy after independent MLAs withdraw supportFile image
news Politics Tuesday, January 15, 2019 - 15:54

Shortly after 2 independent MLAs – H Nagesh and R Shankar – withdrew their support for the JD(S)-Congress coalition government in Karnataka, Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy stated that he is not worried and that his government is stable.

“What is going to happen, if two MLAs withdraw their support, what will be the numbers? I am totally relaxed. I know my strength. The government is stable. I don’t want to do for any counter strategy. From one week your channels are running the same. I am enjoying it. They (MLAs in Mumbai) are in touch with me, why do you worry?” Kumaraswamy said, addressing the media outside the Kumarakrupa Guest House.

Earlier, two independent MLAs in the Karnataka Assembly - R Shankar and H Nagesh - withdrew their support for the JD(S)-Congress coalition government ruling in the state. These two MLAs had gone incommunicado two days ago and appeared before the media in Mumbai.

This brings the number of the coalition down to 118 minus the Speaker. The BJP, meanwhile, has 104 members and two independents with this latest move. For the BJP to form a simple majority in the house, the quorum needs to be brought down to 210.

The Congress, meanwhile, has stated that they are confident that the coalition government in Karnataka is stable.

Speaking to ANI, G Parameshwara, Deputy Karnataka CM, said, "We have been saying that BJP is luring our MLAs through money and power but their attempts to destabilise the government will fail. Our government is stable.”

R Shankar from the Karnataka Pragnyavanta Janata Paksha (KPJP), won from Ranebennur after defeating former Speaker of Karnataka Legislative Assembly - KB Koliwad of the Congress. During the no-confidence motion in May 2018, Shankar had kept changing his loyalties. While he was seen with the Congress one day and with the BJP the next day, Congress strategist DK Shivakumar finally managed to get him back on their side and Shankar was sworn in as the Minister of Forest and Environment. He was, however, removed in December 2018.

H Nagesh, meanwhile, was elected from Mulbagal in Kolar in the State Assembly elections. H Nagesh had contested the election as an independent candidate after he lost out of favour of the local Congress leadership. However, he emerged victorious after the Congress candidate from the seat was disqualified due to wrong documents.

The resignations come days after Water Resources Minister DK Shivakumar confirmed that three Congress MLAs were camped in a hotel in Mumbai and were speaking to BJP leaders. The admission had set off speculation that the BJP was planning to upstage the coalition government in the state.