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No intention to meet Kharge, Azad; Rebel Karnataka MLAs anticipate serious threat

Mumbai | As the political drama in Karnataka is yet to find a suitable ending, the Congress party is trying hard to convince its rebel MLAs to withdraw their resignation.

In the same process, senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad and senior Karnataka leader Mallikarjun Kharge were supposed to meet the rebel MLAs in Mumbai, however before the senior Congress leaders could initiate talks, the 14 MLAs have written a letter to the local police stating that they anticipate a serious threat from the Congress dignitaries.

In an issued letter to the Senior Inspector of Powai Police station in Mumbai, the 14 Rebel MLAs have written, “We the respected Members of Karnataka Assembly are currently staying at the Renaissance Hotel Powai would like to inform you that we have absolutely no intentions in meeting Mallikarju Kharge ji or Gulam Nabi Azad ji or any Congress dignitaries or functionaries from the Maharashtra and Karnataka Congress team leader or any other political leader we anticipate serious threat fro them.”

The MLAs have further requested the local police to make necessary arrangements to stop these leaders from meeting them in case the situation arises.

The Rebel MLAs are Shivram Hebbar, BC Patil, Mahesh K, Vishwanath, Muniratnam, Narayan Gowda, R Shankar, H Nagesh, Pratap Patil, Gopalaiah, Ramesh J, MTB Nagraj, Semshekar, and Basavaraja.

Earlier Senior Karnataka Congres leader DK Shivakumar was also stopped from meeting the rebel MLAs last week outside the same Renaissance Hotel after the MLAs wrote a letter to the Mumbai Police Commissioner. Shivakumar who staged a protest outside the hotel for more than 5 hours was later detained by the Mumbai police.

Meanwhile, the opposition BJP has demanded Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy to immediately resign or seek a trust vote on Monday itself. “I demand that the Chief Minister if he is honest and cares for the democratic system, he should immediately resign or should move a motion seeking for trust vote on Monday itself,” state BJP chief B S Yeddyurappa said.

Earlier Five rebel Congress MLAs had moved to the Supreme Court on Saturday against the Assembly Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar for not accepting their resignations. MLAs Anand Singh, K Sudhakar, N Nagaraj (MTB), Munirathna and Roshan Baig have sought impleadment in the already pending application filed by the 10 other rebel MLAs on which hearing is scheduled for Tuesday.

The coalition government, which has been shaky since it came into being last year after a post-poll arrangement in the wake of a hung verdict, is facing a serious crisis now with 16 MLAs–13 of the Congress and three of the JD(S)– resigning their assembly membership.

Besides, two Independent legislators, who were made ministers recently to provide stability to the government, have quit the ministry and withdrawn support.

The ruling coalition’s total strength is 116 (Congress-78, JD(S)-37 and BSP-1), besides the Speaker. With the support of the two independents, the BJP has 107 MLAs in the 224-member House, where the half-way mark is 113. If the resignations of the 16 MLAs are accepted, the coalition’s tally will be reduced to 100.

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