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Disqualify rebel MLAs: Cong

By The Assam Tribune

BENGALURU, July 9 - The beleaguered JD(S)-Congress coalition government in Karnataka on Tuesday got a breather with state Assembly Speaker holding that the resignations of 9 out of 14 rebel MLAs are not in order on a day when another Congress legislator quit the party.

Fighting to save the government, the Congress also sought the intervention of Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar in disqualifying its rebel legislators and accused the BJP of using money power to lure its members. The BJP has denied the charge.

The fate of the 13-month-old JD(S)-Congress government led by Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy is hinged on the Speaker�s decision on the resignation of the 14 MLAs including Shivajinagar MLA R Roshan Baig who joined the bandwagon of dissidents on Tuesday. A total of 13 MLAs�10 of the Congress and 3 of the JD(S)�submitted their resignation to the Speaker�s office on Saturday triggering a fresh political crisis.

Speaker Kumar told reporters that the resignation letters of 9 out of 14 MLAs of the ruling coalition were not in the prescribed format and he has asked them to submit them properly.

As speculation mounted on the whereabouts of the rebel MLAs after they left a suburban Mumbai hotel Monday night, they returned to the western metropolis from Satara in western Maharashtra. A couple of them are reported to be camping in Bengaluru.

The legislators were earlier on their way to Goa accompanied by a BJP leader, but cut short the trip and returned to Mumbai, sources said. The two Independent MLA-ministers�H Nagesh and R Shankar�who withdrew support on Monday in a further blow to the government are also reported to be in Mumbai.

The Congress rushed senior leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad and B K Hariprasad to Bengaluru to help defuse the crisis amid reports that some more MLAs including Sowmya Reddy, daughter of rebel Congress leader and party veteran Ramalinga Reddy, may join the dissident ranks.

Sources said UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi has asked the central party leaders to find a way out to save the government.

Congress� key troubleshooter D K Shivakumar along with a JD(S) MLA Shivalinge Gowda are headed to Mumbai to pacify the dissident legislators, according to Congress sources in Bengaluru, a day after all the ministers in the coalition government resigned, paving the way for a cabinet reshuffle to accommodate the rebels.

The rebel MLAs, however, appeared undeterred by the Congress�s disqualification move and said there was no question of them withdrawing resignations.

�There is no question of us withdrawing resignation. We have resigned voluntarily and have not indulged in any anti-party activity,� Congress MLA S T Somasekhar told reporters.

The ruling coalition�s total strength is 116 (Congress-78, JD(S)-37 and BSP-1) besides the Speaker.

With the support of the two independents, who Monday resigned from the ministry, the BJP has 107 MLAs in the 224-member House, where the half-way mark is 113.

If the resignations of the 14 MLAs are accepted, the coalition�s tally will be reduced to 102. The Speaker also has a vote.

Putting up a brave face, Kumaraswamy met his JD(S) legislators holed up in a resort in the outskirts of Bengaluru and expressed confidence that the operation by the BJP to dislodge the government will fail.

The BJP�s state unit on its part demanded the resignation of Kumaraswamy, who it claimed, lost majority after 14 MLAs of the ruling coalition quit. � PTI

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Disqualify rebel MLAs: Cong

BENGALURU, July 9 - The beleaguered JD(S)-Congress coalition government in Karnataka on Tuesday got a breather with state Assembly Speaker holding that the resignations of 9 out of 14 rebel MLAs are not in order on a day when another Congress legislator quit the party.

Fighting to save the government, the Congress also sought the intervention of Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar in disqualifying its rebel legislators and accused the BJP of using money power to lure its members. The BJP has denied the charge.

The fate of the 13-month-old JD(S)-Congress government led by Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy is hinged on the Speaker�s decision on the resignation of the 14 MLAs including Shivajinagar MLA R Roshan Baig who joined the bandwagon of dissidents on Tuesday. A total of 13 MLAs�10 of the Congress and 3 of the JD(S)�submitted their resignation to the Speaker�s office on Saturday triggering a fresh political crisis.

Speaker Kumar told reporters that the resignation letters of 9 out of 14 MLAs of the ruling coalition were not in the prescribed format and he has asked them to submit them properly.

As speculation mounted on the whereabouts of the rebel MLAs after they left a suburban Mumbai hotel Monday night, they returned to the western metropolis from Satara in western Maharashtra. A couple of them are reported to be camping in Bengaluru.

The legislators were earlier on their way to Goa accompanied by a BJP leader, but cut short the trip and returned to Mumbai, sources said. The two Independent MLA-ministers�H Nagesh and R Shankar�who withdrew support on Monday in a further blow to the government are also reported to be in Mumbai.

The Congress rushed senior leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad and B K Hariprasad to Bengaluru to help defuse the crisis amid reports that some more MLAs including Sowmya Reddy, daughter of rebel Congress leader and party veteran Ramalinga Reddy, may join the dissident ranks.

Sources said UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi has asked the central party leaders to find a way out to save the government.

Congress� key troubleshooter D K Shivakumar along with a JD(S) MLA Shivalinge Gowda are headed to Mumbai to pacify the dissident legislators, according to Congress sources in Bengaluru, a day after all the ministers in the coalition government resigned, paving the way for a cabinet reshuffle to accommodate the rebels.

The rebel MLAs, however, appeared undeterred by the Congress�s disqualification move and said there was no question of them withdrawing resignations.

�There is no question of us withdrawing resignation. We have resigned voluntarily and have not indulged in any anti-party activity,� Congress MLA S T Somasekhar told reporters.

The ruling coalition�s total strength is 116 (Congress-78, JD(S)-37 and BSP-1) besides the Speaker.

With the support of the two independents, who Monday resigned from the ministry, the BJP has 107 MLAs in the 224-member House, where the half-way mark is 113.

If the resignations of the 14 MLAs are accepted, the coalition�s tally will be reduced to 102. The Speaker also has a vote.

Putting up a brave face, Kumaraswamy met his JD(S) legislators holed up in a resort in the outskirts of Bengaluru and expressed confidence that the operation by the BJP to dislodge the government will fail.

The BJP�s state unit on its part demanded the resignation of Kumaraswamy, who it claimed, lost majority after 14 MLAs of the ruling coalition quit. � PTI

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