Rebel MLAs approach Mumbai police, say they feel threatened by Cong-JD(S) leaders

In a dramatic turn, 10 rebel MLAs from Karnataka who resigned previous week sought protection from Mumbai police saying they feel threatened by Chief Minister Kumaraswamy and Congress leader DK Shivakumar.

In a letter addressing the Commissioner of police, the 10 MLAs said they requested the police not to allow Shivakumar and Kumaraswamy and that they were not willing to meet them.

Considering the Assembly Speaker rejected eight resignations on Tuesday (July ) and asked them to resubmit, the CM and Congress’s chief troubleshooter Shivakumar had plans to meet the rebel MLAs and convince them to take back their resignations. Had the Speaker accepted the resignations, the ruling coalition government would have lost its majority, possibly ending the Kumaraswamy led government. In a bid to stop that, the Congress and JD(S) leader made efforts to reach out to the MLAs.

Meanwhile, on the day when independent MLA H Nagesh resigned and expressed support to the BJP, Shivakumar had alleged that BJP kidnapped him and did not let Congress leaders reach out to him.

While some leader quit the post saying the coalition government’s functioning was affecting the development works, some MLAs who had switched from the BJP to the Congress ahead of the 2018 elections, were lured by the BJP to side with them again. Besides, a handful of MLAs who were loyalists of former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who was in a power battle with Kumaraswamy, too had resigned.

The Congress on Tuesday staged a walkout in Lok Sabha after accusing the BJP of indulging in “politics of poaching” in Karnataka. It was hopeful that the MLAs, including its senior leader Ramalinga Reddy, would return.

Former Karnataka CM and now Union minister DV Sadananda Gowda rubbished the accusations, saying the Congress-JD(S) MLAs did not have faith in the government and hence they resigned. “They dragged BJP into it for political gains,” he said.