K’taka: Congress reaches out to rebel MLAs, Yeddyurappa wants trust vote

BS Yeddyurappa - The Federal
BJP Karnataka president BS Yeddyurappa

As Congress-JD(S) coalition leaders in Karnataka reached out to rebel MLAs, urging them to withdraw their resignations, state BJP chief BS Yeddyurappa demanded that the no-confidence motion against the Kumaraswamy government be brought in the Assembly on Monday (July 15).

“We will wait until Monday. Why delay it (no-confidence motion)?” Yeddyurappa told reporters on Saturday (July 13).

On Friday (July 12), chief minister HD Kumaraswamy had said that he was ready to prove majority on the floor of the House.

However, Assembly Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar has said he needs more time to examine the resignations of the MLAs.

With the Supreme Court restraining him from taking any decision on the resignations till Tuesday, it is likely that Ramesh could move the no-confidence motion on Wednesday a day later.

Five more rebel Congress MLAs moved the Supreme Court on Saturday against the Speaker not accepting their resignation.

MLAs Anand Singh, K Sudhakar, N Nagaraj, Munirathna and Roshan Baig have sought impleadment in the already pending application filed by 10 other rebels MLAs on which the hearing is scheduled for Tuesday.

But the BJP, which hauled up its MLAs in a private luxury hotel on the outskirts of Bengaluru, wants to move the no-confidence motion early. They do not want to take chances and give more time for the coalition to convince the rebels to withdraw their resignations.

Sathyan Puthoor, former Karnataka Pradesh Congress member, said the party was ready to face the no-confidence motion anytime, be it Monday or Wednesday.

While CM Kumaraswamy reached out to a few MLAs, Congress leaders like DK Shivakumar, Parameshwara and Siddaramaiah held talks with senior Congress rebel legislators like Ramalinga Reddy, MTB Nagaraj and Roshan Baig.

Also read: Greed vs Fear: Decoding the Congress-JD(S) gameplan in Karnataka

Shivakumar and Parameshwara visited MTB Nagaraj, one of the richest MLAs in the country, early on Saturday and urged him to withdraw his resignation.

“Nagaraj is a sincere Congressman who has stood by the party in time of crisis. Today, he has assured us to be with us, and he will take responsibility to convince other legislators,” Shivakumar said.

Nagaraj said he spoke Siddaramaiah and will convince Chikkaballapura MLA K Sudhakar, who resigned with him, to withdraw his resignation.

As of now, 16 MLAs have resigned from their post and brought down the Assembly strength from 224 to 208. Two independent MLAs have withdrawn support to the coalition and sided with the BJP.

While the Congress-JD(S) strength stands at 101, BJP has 107 (including the two independents).