Despite Congress Legislature Party leader Siddaramaiah warning of rebels MLAs of disqualification, highly placed sources in Congress say that three legislators – Anjali Nimbalkar, MTB Nagaraj and Lakshmi Hebbalkar will tender their resignations to the Speaker.
“Lakshmi Hebbalkar, Anjali Nimbalkar and MTB Nagaraj have been contacted by BJP state President BS Yeddyurappa’s PA Santosh. Santosh has been in constant touch with the three MLAs and they will submit their resignation soon,” the source said.
Lakshmi Hebbalkar is allegedly being pressured by Santosh to submit her resignation and fly to Mumbai as soon as possible and join the 10 rebels MLAs. “Anjali Nimbakar has also been pressurized a lot. She was approached initially by BJP leaders from Maharashtra. Now Santosh has been in touch with her. Lakshmi Hebbalkar and Anjali Nimbalkar are mulling over quitting as the move to BJP would safeguard their political career in Belagavi,” the source said.
Anjali Nimbalkar and MTB Nagaraj chose to skip the Congress Legislature Party on Tuesday, while Lakshmi Hebbalkar was present.
The source also said that Chikkaballapura MLA Dr K Sudhakar will not resign contrary to speculation that he would. "The BJP does not want to take Sudhakar into its fold. Yeddyurappa has explicitly told his PA that Sudhakar must not be approached," the source added.
So far, 13 MLAs – 10 from the Congress and 3 from the JD(S) have tendered their resignations to Speaker Ramesh Kumar’s office.
On Saturday, when 13 MLAs of the JD(S)-Congress coalition government reached the Speaker’s office to submit their resignations, the Karnataka Assembly Speaker made a quick disappearing act. The Speaker is the only person who can accept resignations of elected legislators in the state.
The crisis began after 13 MLAs - 10 Congress and 3 JD(S) - with the coalition submitted their resignations to the Speaker's office last Saturday. The disgruntled legislators met with the Governor and informed him of their decision to resign.
Many of the MLAs were flown out to Sofitel Hotel in Mumbai. On July 8, Independent MLA H Nagesh withdrew support from the coalition and KPJP MLA R Shankar also withdrew support. Earlier this month, MLA Anand Singh had also resigned. The strength of the Assembly is 224 including Speaker.
With the 13 MLAs resigning, the quorum has reduced to 211. With this spate of resignations, the Congress-JD(S) coalition has 104 MLAs while the BJP has 107 MLAs on its side. The coalition does not have the majority to rule the government if the Speaker accepts the resignation of the MLAs.