Karnataka Water Resources Minister DK Shivakumar on Saturday stated that he was shocked that a senior leader like Ramalinga Reddy submitted his resignation from the Karnataka Assembly.
Speaking to TNM outside his residence in Bengaluru, Shivakumar said, "It was shocking to me that Ramalinga Reddy offered his resignation. He is a senior leader of the party, a seven-time MLA like me. He feels humiliated by the party and the ministry. I hope to sort it out.”
According to sources, Ramalinga Reddy is keen on getting the Bengaluru Development portfolio, which is currently held by Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara. Ramalinga Reddy had been miffed with Kumaraswamy for not including him when the cabinet was formed and further excluding him during the reshuffle.
The developments come on a day when eight Congress MLAs and three JD(S) MLAs submitted their resignation letters to Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar. The Speaker, however, was not in his office. Though one more Congress MLA wanted to submit his resignation, Congress leader DK Shivakumar tore it.
Despite this, Shivakumar expressed confidence that the coalition government in power in Karnataka will continue.
"We are confident (that it will continue). There may be interpersonal differences. Each MLA has his or her own set of problems and we will settle them. I cannot tell what I have discussed with them. BJP leaders are pretending to be innocent but I know who they are speaking to. Let us wait and see,” he said.
He further added that the coalition is ready to make sacrifices to ensure the government is secure.
"We will rectify what is wrong and save the government. We are ready for all sacrifices. We can't stop who is leaving but leaders have left in the past and then returned,” he added.
It was DK Shivakumar who acted as troubleshooter this time too and rushed to the Speaker's office in Vidhana Soudha when the MLAs went to hand over their resignations. DK Shivakumar managed to take at least four MLAs home with him. But in his conversation with TNM later, it was clear that he had not fully managed to convince these Congress MLAs to take back their resignations.
The rebel 11 MLAs are currently on their way to Mumbai. Their resignation spells trouble for the Karnataka government, as they are 4 MLAs away from losing majority in the Assembly.
Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy is in the US and is rushing back to Bengaluru.
The majority mark in the Karnataka Assembly is 113 and the Congress had 80 MLAs, the JD(S) has 37 MLAs and there is 1 BSP MLA. There are two independent MLAs who have supported the coalition. The opposition BJP’s strength in the Assembly is 105.