Congress leader and Karnataka minister for rural development and panchayati raj, Krishna Byre Gowda, is the first senior coalition leader to admit that the Karnataka government “is in a precarious position.” His admission comes very close to the political potboiler reaching a climax at 6 pm when the 14 rebel MLAs are expected to meet the Assembly speaker Ramesh Kumar.
“Government is in a precarious position. This was discussed in the Cabinet. This is the seventh assault by the BJP on the state government. So far we’ve withstood such efforts but this time it is more precarious, I agree,” he revealed.
Byre Gowda suggested that a discussion on the political crisis had taken place in the cabinet earlier on Thursday and there was still hope.
“We have decided to brave this and try and convince the MLAs who resigned and do everything possible to save the government,” he added.
His sentiments found an echo in state’s agriculture minister NH Shivashankar Reddy’s assessment of the situation, “The rebels are unlikely to withdraw their resignations. Naturally, if we do not have a majority we should let BJP stake a claim,” he said.
Congress MLA from Harihar constitutency, Ramappa was however more hopeful, “There might be a change in CM but the government will be safe,” he opined.
All eyes are now on the rebel Karnataka MLAs’ — who had petitioned the Supreme Court for an early decision on their resignations– 6 pm meeting with the Speaker.
Byrathi Basvaraju, who is one of the rebel MLAs, indicated that they will reiterate their decision to quit when they meet the Speaker. He also sought protection while denying any BJP role in their decision.
Karnataka Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar has agreed to meet the rebel legislators today in line with the Supreme Court directive; however, he has pleaded that he may need more time to verify if the resignations were voluntary or forced.
A bench led by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi said it would take up the speaker’s request tomorrow morning.
Earlier Thursday morning, the Supreme Court had requested the speaker to decide on the resignations today after meeting them at 6 pm.
Jul 11, 2019 17:58 IST