Karnataka Congress cadres protest resignations by rebel MLAs
Bengaluru: About 200 cadres and supporters of the Karnataka Congress on Sunday protested against the resignations of the party’s 10 rebel legislators and urged them to withdraw them to save their 13-month-old coalition government in the southern state with the Janata Dal (Secular).
“Holding placards, party flags and banners in Kannada and English, the cadres from Bengaluru and adjacent districts staged a sit-in demonstration against the rebels for plunging the party into a crisis by resigning from their respective Assembly segments on Saturday,” a party official told IANS.
The nine Congress rebel MLAs who resigned include Pratapgauda Patil (Maski), B.C. Patil (Hirekerur), Ramesh Jarkiholi (Gokak), Shivram Hebbar (Yellapur), Mahesh Kumatahalli (Athani), Ramalinga Reddy (BTM Layout), S.T. Somashekar (Yeshvantpur), Munirathna (RR Nagar) and S.N. Subba Reddy (KGF in Kolar).
Party lawmaker Ananda Singh (Vijayanagara) had resigned on July 1.
Three rebel JD-S MLAs also tendered their resignations on Saturday, including A.H. Vishwanath (Hunsur), N. Narayana Gowda (K.R. Pete) and Gopalaiah (Mahalakshmi Layout).
Appealing to the party’s state unit leaders to resolve the crisis at the earliest, the cadres also asked the rebels to return to Bengaluru from Mumbai and discuss their concerns and demands with the party leaders.
“Instead of resigning along with some rebel JD-S legislators, they should have first discussed their grievances with the party leaders rather than triggering a crisis and causing uncertainty over the survival of the coalition government,” senior Congress cadre G. Puttaswamy told IANS at the party office here.
About 10 Congress rebels flew to Mumbai by a chartered aircraft from here on Saturday evening, ostensibly to avoid the party leaders from meeting or contacting them. They are staying in a hotel in central Mumbai.
The hour-long demonstration amid tight security kept the party’s state leaders and ministers away from the party office.
To pacify the rebels and make them withdraw their resignations, Congress’ state unit leaders, including former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, Deputy Chief Minister G. Paramashwara and party’s state unit working President Eshwar Kandre, have been in parleys with the party’s state unit in-charge K.C. Venugopal at a city hotel here.
With the party getting routed in the recent Lok Sabha elections along with its ally JD-S, winning only one parliamentary seat each, the morale of the cadres and supporters across the state has been low.
“We hope the party leaders will convince the rebels to withdraw their resignations and allow the coalition government to continue in the interest of all by putting aside their differences,” said Puttaswamy.
Since Assembly Speaker K.R. Ramesh Kumar was not in his office on Saturday, the rebels submitted their resignation letters with his personal secretary.
Kumar said he would look into the resignations on Tuesday.
The rebels also met state Governor Vajubhai Vala at the Raj Bhavan and apprised him of their reasons for resigning from their constituencies a year after they were elected in the May 2018 Assembly elections.