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Karnataka Crisis: 5 Congress, 3 JD-MLAs ‘resign’

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Bengaluru, July 6, 2019: In a severe jolt to the year-old coalition government in Karnataka, five Congress and three Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) legislators on Saturday resigned from their respective Assembly segments in the southern state, sources said.

“As Assembly Speaker K.R. Ramesh Kumar was not in the office, the eight legislators submitted their resignation letters in Kannada to his personal assistant,” a Congress official told IANS here.

The five Congress MLAs who resigned are Pratapgauda Patil from Maski Assembly segment, B.C. Patil (Hirekerur), Ramesh Jarkiholi (Gokak), Shivram Hebbar (Yellapur) and Mahesh Kumatahalli (Athani).

The three JD-S MLAs are A.H. Vishwanath (Hunsur), N. Narayana Gowda (K.R. Pete) and Gopalaiah (Mahalakshmim in Bengaluru northwest).

Though Jarkiholi resigned on July 1, his resignation was not accept by the Speaker, as it was faxed to his office, which is against the procedure.

Congress legislator Anand Singh from Vijayanagara segment resigned on July 1. As he personally handed over his resignation letter to the Speaker, he acknowledged receiving it.

As the legislators could not meet the Speaker in his office, they went to the Raj Bhavan to apprise Governor Vajubhai Vala of their decision to resign.

In a related development, senior Congress legislator Ramalinga Reddy told reporters here he had also decided to resign from the party.

Reddy, a seven-time lawmaker from BTM Layout Assembly segment in Bengaluru South, was a Cabinet minister in the previous Congress government.

“I have decided to resign from the Congress, with which I have been associated for over four decades, as there is no respect or value for senior leaders in the party,” Reddy told reporters outside Vidhana Soudha in the city centre.

Four more Congress legislators, including Reddy’s daughter Soumya from Jayanagar in Bengaluru South, Somashekar (from Yeshvantpur in Bengaluru North), Byarti Basavaraj (from K.R. Puram in Bengaluru East) and Munirathna (from R.R. Nagar in Bengaluru West) are also reportedly mulling to resign.

In the 225-member Assembly, including one nominated, the Congress has 79 excluding the Speaker, JD-S 37 and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) 105.

With the support of three other members, including one each from the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Karnataka Pragnyavantha Janatha Party (KPJP) (a regional outfit) and an Independent, the ruling alliance has 118, 5 more than the halfway mark of 113, required for a simple majority.

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