Karnataka: the political crisis within the Congress-JD (S) coalition continues on day two

BENGALURU: The biggest political crisis in showed no signs of relief with Congress and the leaders of JD (S) who held talks on Sunday to save the state government after the resignation of 13 legislators.

Ten of the 13 MLA of Congress-JD (S), who submitted their resignations to the President's office on Saturday morning, were locked in a private hotel in Mumbai, awaiting orders from the BJP high command.

According to BJP experts, the central management has deposed Union Railways Minister Piyush Goyal, who hails from Maharashtra, to oversee the developments along with the state secretary general, Arvind Limbavali, who has ABVP connections in Maharashtra.

It is said that Limbavali is directly coordinating with the government led by the BJP of Maharashtra to ensure that rebel MLAs stay together.

Earlier today, BJP Malleswaram MLA, Dr. C N Ashwathnarayan was seen with the rebellious MLA at the Mumbai hotel.

The BJP, however, continued to move away from the resignation crisis, maintaining that the rebel legislators resigned by their own will.

BJP Senior Leader B S Yeddyurappa said the party is waiting for the President to make a decision about the resignation of the MLA.

Let's wait and observe. Are we sanyasis (hermits)? After the resignation process ends and the speaker makes his decision, the leaders of our party will discuss and decide, he said in response to a question about whether the BJP was preparing the government.

Throughout the day, the rebellious MLA held meetings between them and refrained from venturing out of the hotel.

Meanwhile, in Bengaluru, the irrigation minister, DK Shivakumar, held talks with the main leadership of JD (S), including the HD party's regional patriarch Deve Gowda, to discuss ways to save the coalition government in the state.

Shivakumar said the two sides will unite and make a decision soon.

Many and even my friends at BJP are not inclined towards new elections. However, it seems that the central leadership of the BJP is inclined to force a new election in the state, he said.

The JD (S) convened a meeting of their legislators at the party headquarters in Bengaluru at 6 pm with Prime Minister HD Kumaraswamy arriving in the city at about the same time.

The general secretary of the AICC and the head of Karnataka, KC Venugopal, met today with senior congressmen, among them Mallikarjun Kharge, B K Hariprasad and others to discuss a possible solution to the political crisis.

Rumors are also making the rounds that Kharge is being discussed as the chief minister candidate as part of a compromise formula for the rebels to return to the fold. The senior leader of Congress has dismissed the speculations.

(With contributions from agencies)