Karnataka CM H.D. Kumaraswamy (HT file)
Karnataka CM H.D. Kumaraswamy (HT file)

Independent legislator Nagesh exits Kumaraswamy’s Cabinet

  • Nagesh’s decision to resign comes barely a month after he and another independent (R Shankar) was inducted to restrict their options of lending support to the BJP
  • The exit pushes the Congress-JD (S) to the brink of a collapse

Bengaluru: The Janata Dal (Secular)-Congress coalition government, on Monday, faced yet another set back as recently inducted minister and independent legislator, H. Nagesh, resigned from the H.D. Kumaraswamy-led Cabinet. Nagesh’s decision to resign from the ministry comes barely a month after he and another independent (R. Shankar) was inducted to restrict their options of lending support to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

“I have this day, tendered my resignation to the council of ministers headed by Shri H.D. Kumaraswamy," Nagesh wrote in his letter addressed to the Karnataka governor.

Nagesh, the independent legislator from Mulbagal in Kolar, wrote three letters — resignation to the governor, extending his support to the BJP, and another to the chief minister.

“I have already withdrawn my support to the government headed by Shri H.D.Kumaraswamy. I would further by this letter unequivocally state that I would extend my support to the government of the Bharatiya Janata Party if called for by your good self," Nagesh said in his second letter addressed to the governor.

This is the second time that the Nagesh has withdrawn support to the coalition.

The exit pushes the coalition to the brink of a collapse as the two sides have the same strength in the lower house of the state legislature. A total of 13 people have resigned so far from the Congress and JD(S) coalition, and if accepted by the assembly speaker, it would bring down the alliance total to 105, similar to the BJP. The speaker, K.R. Ramesh Kumar of the Congress, will have the final vote to decide the fate of the coalition government in Karnataka.

The Congress and the JD(S) have been in a huddle since last evening with no real solutions coming out of both camps. Having let dissent fester for months now, the two sides are contemplating several measures, including resignation of existing ministers to accommodate rebels, as one of the ways to diffuse the developing political crisis in the state.

After Vijayanagara legislator, Anand Singh’s resignation, the coalition barely did anything to keep its flock together, according to party workers and leaders. At least 12 legislators from both the Congress and the JD(S) resigned on Saturday and were later bundled up and taken to Mumbai in a private chartered aircraft the same day. In a statement on Sunday, S.T. Somashekar, one rebel candidate from the Congress side, said neither would the legislators come back, nor was there any question of withdrawing resignations.

Several Congress and JD(S) leaders are not very keen to continue the alliance that would further aggravate its cadre and cause more harm as it did in the Lok Sabha elections, where both parties were reduced to one seat each.

The BJP, which denies any role in the developing political crisis, claims that at least four to five more legislators will resign in the next few days.

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