BJP to protest in Karnataka demanding CM’s resignation

Bengaluru: The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will stage protests across Karnataka on Tuesday demanding Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy’s resignation as his coalition government lost majority following the resignation of 14 Congress-JD-S legislators and two Ministers, a party official said.

“Our leaders and cadres will hold demonstrations in all the district headquarters across the state between 11 a.m. and noon for Kumaraswamy’s resignation, as he has no moral right to continue after the MLAs of the ruling allies resigned and his government has been reduced to minority in the Assembly,” Bharatiya Janata Party spokesman G. Madhusudana told IANS here.

Of the 14 lawmakers who resigned, 11 belong to the Congress and three Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S). While 10 Congress MLAs resigned on July 6, one (Anand Singh) resigned on July 1.

Small-Scale Industries Minister and Independent H. Nagesh and Municipalities Administration Minister and KPJP legislator R. Shankar resigned from the cabinet and withdrew support to the 13-month coalition government on Monday.

“If the Speaker (K.R. Ramesh Kumar) accepts the resignations of all the rebels on Tuesday, Kumaraswamy will have no option but face the floor test for a trial of strength to prove if his government has majority,” Madhusudan said.

In the 225-member Assembly, the Congress has 79 legislators excluding the Speaker, JD-S 39, BJP 105, while one each from the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Karnataka Pragnyavantha Janatha Party (KPJP) and Independent.

As the nominated member from the Anglo-Christian community does not have voting rights, the half-way mark (113) is required for simple majority.

With the Independent and KPJP member withdrawing support, the government’s strength is reduced to 116, as BSP member N. Mahesh is an ally of the JD-S, three more than the halfway mark.

In the event of the Speaker accepting the resignations of all the 14 Congress-JD-S rebels, the government’s strength will reduce to 101 from 115 (78+37) and that of Assembly to 211, with 106 as the halfway mark for simple majority.

The 11 Congress legislators who resigned are Ramalinga Reddy, S.T. Somashekar, Bayrati Basavaraj, Munirathna, Pratapgauda Patil, B.C. Patil, Ramesh Jarkiholi, Shivram Hebbar, Mahesh Kumatahalli, S.N. Subba Reddy and Anand Singh.

The three JD-S MLAs are A.H. Vishwanath, N. Narayana Gowda and Gopalaiah (Mahalakshmim).

The Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Siddaramaiah has urged the rebels to attend the CLP meeting he has conveyed during the day ahead of the 10-day monsoon session of the state legislature from Friday.