2 MLAs withdraw support to Cong-JD(S) coalition

Independent H Nagesh, who represents the Mulbagal constituency and Karnataka Prajnavantha Janata Paksha’s Ranebennur legislator R Shankar, a former minister in the HD Kumaraswamy Cabinet, have written to Governor Vajubhai R Vala about their decision to withdraw support to the Congress-JD(S) coalition.

Two Karnataka legislators announced withdrawal of their support to the Congress-JD(S) coalition on Tuesday .

Independent H Nagesh, who represents the Mulbagal constituency and Karnataka Prajnavantha Janata Paksha’s (KPJP) Ranebennur legislator R Shankar, a former minister in the H D Kumaraswamy Cabinet, have written to Governor Vajubhai R Vala about their decision to withdraw support to the Congress-JD(S) coalition.

Nagesh has announced that he will support the BJP, whereas Shankar has merely stated that he had withdrawn his support from the ruling alliance. 

Reacting to the development, Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy said that he is “totally relaxed.” He told reporters: “If two independent MLAs withdraw their support, what will be the numbers? I know what my strength is.”

“The atmosphere is suffocating. I’ve decided to support the BJP to install a stable government and to see that they perform better than this (coalition) government. In the past seven months, this government hasn’t performed as per expectations. I’ve taken the decision to support the BJP without any compulsion,” Nagesh told ANI. 

Shankar, who was inducted into the Cabinet when the Congress-JD(S) government was formed in June this year and dropped in December, said that he did not get the necessary support to carry out his work. “I was a minister and thanks to the blessings of my constituents, I worked satisfactorily. But I didn’t get the support required to do more work. I’m withdrawing my support with a lot of pain,” Shankar told ANI. He also hit out at the ruling alliance. “The government has failed to deliver. They’re not able to bring the state out of drought toward development.” 

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The strength of the ruling Congress-JD(S) coalition was 120 -- with 80 from the Congress, 37 from the JD(S), one BSP, one independent and one KPJP. With Nagesh and Shankar out, the alliance is down to 118. 

“I don’t know why they’ve taken this decision,” Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara told reporters. “The two supported us at the time of forming the government and one of them was made a minister. Shankar was a minister and nobody came in his way. Now they’ve decided to support the BJP and it’s their wish,” he said.

This development comes amid speculation and fear that the BJP was trying to lure legislators to exit the ruling alliance. “The BJP is hellbent on dislodging our government. They’re offering money and power lure. We don’t know how many of our MLAs are in touch with the BJP. The entire country is watching what the BJP is doing. We will contact our MLAs and convince them,” Parameshwara said.

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AICC General Secretary In-Charge of Karnataka KC Venugopal, who held a series of meetings with Congress leaders in Bengaluru, ruled out any threat to the government. “These are things created by a desperate BJP. The government is very much stable,” he said. 

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2 MLAs withdraw support to Cong-JD(S) coalition

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