Lone BSP minister quits HDK govt

Lone BSP minister quits HDK govt

N Mahesh

The lone BSP minister in the H D Kumaraswamy Cabinet — Primary and Secondary Education Minister N Mahesh — resigned on Thursday indicating that his party does not want to be associated with the Congress in the ruling coalition.

Mahesh, who despatched his resignation letter to Chief Minister Kumaraswamy, said he will continue his support to the coalition government. Mahesh represents the Kollegal Assembly constituency in Chamarajnagar district.

Mahesh said he will continue to support Kumaraswamy and his party will back the JD(S) in forthcoming bypolls to three Lok Sabha and two Assembly seats.

Speaking at a BSP event in Chamarajnagar last week, Mahesh had created political ripples when he held the Congress, BJP and the JD(S) responsible for the socio-economic inequality in the country. Mahesh later clarified that he has no problems with the JD(S).

Sources said Mahesh quit following directions from BSP chief Mayawati.

The BSP recently had decided against having any alliance with the Congress in the Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh Assembly elections.

The JD(S) and the BSP had entered into a pre-poll alliance for the Karnataka Assembly elections held in May this year and as part of this arrangement, BSP contested in 20 seats.

In his resignation letter, a copy of which has been marked to Governor Vajubhai Vala, Mahesh thanked Kumaraswamy for rendering support and cooperation to him to discharge his duties as primary and secondary education minister. Mahesh stated that he was resigning for personal reasons.

Later, Mahesh told reporters that the BSP will support JD(S) candidates in the byelections. He said he will now focus his energies on strengthening the party ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. “Attending to party work and also discharging the responsibilities as a minister, that too a prime portfolio like primary and secondary education, is a difficult task. For me, the party is more important than power,” he said.

On whether the BSP will have a tie-up with the JD(S) for the Lok Sabha elections, he said it was for Mayawati to take a final call.

Mahesh said he will also work towards developing and nurturing his constituency. Mahesh had been made incharge of Gadag district.

Soon after Mahesh’s resignation, there was speculation that he may support the BJP if the safforn party stakes claim to form the government.

Earlier in the day, BJP leader and former deputy chief minister R Ashoka had said that his party’s central leadership had given the go-ahead to the state unit to make efforts to form the government in Karnataka.
With Mahesh’s resignation there are now seven vacancies in the Kumaraswamy Cabinet.