Dissident Karnataka Congress MLA MTB Nagaraj, who a day ago said he would remain with the Congress, arrived in Mumbai on Sunday and headed to the hotel where other legislators who have quit are camping.
“He has arrived here in the afternoon and is in the hotel where some other legislators are camping,” sources in Mumbai told PTI, adding that BJP leader R Ashok accompanied the legislator. With this, the total number of Karnataka MLAs in Mumbai stood at 15.
In a bid to woo him back, the Congress leaders had held talks with Nagaraj on Saturday. Before leaving for Mumbai, the Hoskote MLA maintained that he intended to take the final call on the withdrawal of his resignation after discussions with Chikkaballapura MLA K Sudhakar.
However, Congress MLA and former minister H K Patil said, “Nagaraj must have learnt that Sudhakar is in Mumbai and I feel he has gone there to bring him back.”
Congress tries to win back rebel MLA Ramalinga Reddy
On Sunday too, the Grand Old Party stepped up its attempts to persuade Ramalinga Reddy, another rebel MLA, to withdraw his resignation from the state assembly. The party’s state working president Eshwar Khandre and senior leader H K Patil had a meeting with Reddy at his residence for about two hours.
JP Nadda rejects horse-trading allegations
Meanwhile, BJP working president J P Nadda Sunday denied allegations of horse-trading and said Karnataka’s political crisis was triggered by the resignation of Rahul Gandhi as Congress president. “These are baseless allegations. (The crisis in Karnataka) is the Congress’ internal issue. Its national president (Rahul Gandhi) has resigned from the post and others are resigning from their posts,” PTI quoted Nadda as saying.
He added that a new “political culture” has emerged under Narendra Modi’s leadership and those against ‘vote bank and dynasty’ politics were welcome to join BJP that is now an “all-pervasive” party.
Resign or seek trust vote on Monday: Yeddyurappa to Kumaraswamy
Karnataka BJP chief BS Yeddyurappa also demanded that the Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy should either resign immediately or seek a trust vote on Monday itself.
“I demand that the Chief Minister, if he is honest and cares for the democratic system, should immediately resign or should move a motion seeking for trust vote on Monday itself,” Yeddyurappa said, asserting that the coalition government in the state had already lost the majority.
“You (Kumaraswamy) don’t have a majority. So let them (coalition) ask for confidence vote or reign immediately. Tomorrow in the Business Advisory Committee meeting I will advise the same thing to Kumaraswamy and discuss,” he added.
The Karnataka government is on the brink of collapse, with 16 MLAs from Congress-JDS tendering their resignations. If the resignations of the 16 rebel MLAs of the ruling Congress-JD(S) coalition are accepted, the coalition will have 101 MLAs in the 224-member House versus the BJP’s 105.