The Bharatiya Janata Party in Karnataka on Tuesday decided to stage a protest outside the Vidhan Soudha on Wednesday and seek the intervention of governor in the ongoing crisis in the state.
Earlier in the day, Karnataka Assembly Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar said that the 14 disgruntled MLAs would have to personally meet him this week. He said the letters of resignation they have submitted are not in order. The rebels had quit last week, putting the 13-month-old Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) government in jeopardy.
Meanwhile, all 30 ministers – 21 of the Congress and nine of the JD(S) – stepped down from the Cabinet on Monday to accommodate the rebel MLAs in a bid to save the government. Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy is expected to announce a new Cabinet soon.
Here are the top updates of the day:
9.50 pm: Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad says that the entire country is anguished at the way the President at the national level and the governor at the state level are conducting themselves, ANI reports. He says this way the democracy is being finished in this country.
08.42 pm: Karnataka Congress leader Zameer Ahmad claims that the Bharatiya Janata Party has kidnapped the rebel MLAs and is keeping them at “gunpoint”, reports ANI. He also says that their phones have been seized and are not even allowed to talk to their family members. “If set free, the MLAs will return to us. Four to five people each are keeping a watch on them,” he says.
08.27 pm: A meeting of Congress leaders is underway in Bengaluru, reports ANI. Senior Congress leaders KC Venugopal, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Mallikarjun Kharge and former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, KPCC President Dinesh Gundu Rao are among other leaders present in the meeting.
7.27 pm: Limbavali says that a high-level BJP delegation is going to meet Governor of Karnataka at 1 pm on Wednesday. “We want immediate intervention of the Governor. We will decide further course of action after tomorrow’s meetings with Governor and Speaker,” he adds.
7.25 pm: BJP MLA Arvind Limbavali says that in the meeting of Karnataka BJP lawmakers, it is decided that they will protest on Wednesday in front of the Vidhan Soudha at 11.30 am, reports ANI.
7.20 pm: Congress leader DK Shivakumar to go to Mumbai on Wednesday to meet the rebel Karnataka MLAs, reports ANI.
6.46 pm: Some rebel legislators who were in Satara in Maharashtra have returned to Mumbai, PTI reports citing sources. The rebel MLAs are awaiting legal opinion on how to proceed after the speaker takes a call on their resignations.
6.40 pm: Janata Dal (Secular) MLA Shivalinge Gowda attacks rebel legislators, says the state government is stable, News9 reports.
6.25 pm: A BJP Legislature Party meeting is underway at the party office in Bengaluru.
6.11 pm: Kumaraswamy has managed to pacify three of the 14 MLAs, News9 reports.
5.43 pm: Several BJP MLAs went to meet the speaker at the Vidhan Soudha, but left as he was not present, ANI reports.
5.35 pm: Congress MPs shout slogans against the BJP in the Lok Sabha, News9 reports. Rahul Gandhi also joins in the sloganeering.
5.14 pm: BJP has issued a whip to its Lok Sabha MPs, asking them to present in the House on Wednesday, ANI reports.
5.10 pm: Congress leader DK Shivakumar says Independent lawmaker H Nagesh told him that he has been “hijacked” by Yeddyurappa’s personal assistant, NDTV reports. “By the time I reached airport the flight had left,” he adds.
5 pm: BJP appoints ministers in bars and restaurants, alleges Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, NDTV reports. “There is a BJP hand in the Karnataka crisis,” he says. “Yeddyurappa’s PA was in the plane with rebel MLAs. BJP appoints chief ministers in bars and restaurants. They have done this before in Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh.”
4.53 pm: “We had come to meet the speaker [at the Vidhan Soudha] and he is not there,” BJP MLA Basavaraj Bommai says according to ANI. “We have got a message that he is not coming today that is why we are leaving.”
4.37 pm: Janata Dal (Secular) MLAs will stay at their resort until the monsoon session begins after four days, News9 reports.
4.22 pm: Kumaraswamy has assured his party’s legislators that the BJP’s “Operation Kamala” will fail again and the “rebellion drama” will come to an end on July 12.
4.09 pm: BJP leaders from Mahalaxmi Layout have opposed induction of Janata Dal (Secular) MLA Gopalaiah into the party, News9 reports.
3.55 pm: The Janata Dal (Secular) has accused the BJP of spending Rs 1,000 crore to poach MLAs, News9 reports.
3.37 pm: Karnataka BJP chief BS Yeddyurappa will head the party’s legislature party meeting at 5 pm. Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar’s decisions will be discussed in the meeting.
3.22 pm: BJP leaders are meeting the rebel MLAs at a hotel in Powai, Mumbai, News18 reports.
2.48 pm: “I have written a letter to governor that none of the rebel MLAs have met me,” the speaker says. “Governor has expressed confidence that I will uphold constitutional norms. There is one petition on disqualification pending. I will act on it.”
2.43 pm: The speaker says that if Independent MLAs H Nagesh and R Shankar want to support the BJP, it is “their decision”.
2.35 pm: The Karnataka speaker says the resignations are not in the proper format, News18 reports. He says he has asked the MLAs who have submitted their resignations to meet him on July 12 and July 13.
2.23 pm: BJP workers in Dharwad stage protest demanding the resignation of Kumaraswamy and a BJP government in Karnataka, News18 reports.
2.20 pm: HD Kumaraswamy reaches Devanahalli to meet Janata Dal (Secular) MLAs.
2.17 pm: The Rajya Sabha has been adjourned till Wednesday after Congress MPs storm the well of the House shouting slogans, News18 reports.
2.14 pm: The DMK has also left the Lok Sabha after the Congress walked out, News18 reports. Meanwhile, Bahujan Samaj Party MP Danish Ali accuses the BJP of “murdering” democracy.
2.12 pm: “In the initial stage we tried once but afterwards we kept quiet,” BJP leader and Union minister Sadananda Gowda says, referring to allegations that the party is trying to poach legislators, ANI reports. “Congress and JDS MLAs don’t have faith in their own leaders and government. “We are not behind any MLAs from Congress or JDS.”
2.08 pm: BJP says the resignations of the MLAs do not violate the anti-defection law. BJP leader S Suresh Kumar says the MLAs resigned from the Assembly, not the Congress or the Janata Dal (Secular), so the law has not been broken.
2.04 pm: BJP cadre protest in Shivmogga, demanding that Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy resign, The Hindu reports. S Dattatri, secretary of BJP Raitha Morcha, says that Kumaraswamy has lost the moral right to remain chief minister as his government has lost majority.
1.52 pm: Congress stages a walkout from the Lok Sabha, accusing the BJP of indulging in “politics of poaching” in Karnataka, PTI reports.
Congress leader in the Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury says: “The politics of poaching should be stopped. The politics of targeting should be stopped. Today it is Karnataka and tomorrow it will be Madhya Pradesh. “You say you have no role in Karnataka. But when an MLA comes out of Raj Bhavan, there is a car ready for him, when he is at the airport, there is an aircraft ready for him.”
1.50 pm: Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad and BK Hariprasad will go to Bengaluru, ANI reports.
1.45 pm: Rebel MLA Pratap Gowda Patil says he hopes the speaker accepts the resignations, News9 reports.
1.42 pm: The Khanapur unit of the BJP has opposed the entry of Anjali Nimbalkar into the party from the Congress, The Hindu reports. Khanapur unit BJP chief Vithal Patil says the party has suspended the membership drive as a means of protest.
1.37 pm: Karnataka minister Krishna Byre Gowda, KPCC President Dinesh Gundu Rao, former ministers Tanveer Sait and HK Patil join Siddaramaiah in the speaker’s chamber to discuss the resignations, The Hindu reports.
1.28 pm: “We’ve resigned from MLA post due to lack of development in the state,” Janata Dal (Secular) MLA Narayan Gowda says. “Karnataka CM travelled abroad without consultation with MLAs, no work was progressing in the state. We will stay here for 2 days and then we will return.”
1.24 pm: “I am not going to Mumbai or Delhi,” Roshan Baig says according to PTI. “Being the chairman of the State Hajj committee, I am going to the airport to oversee arrangements for the Hajj pilgrims.”
1.20 pm: “Total 10 MLAs have submitted their resignation to speaker and Karnataka governor,” Congress leader ST Somashekhar says. “We are still in Congress party but resigned from MLA post. We’re not expecting any minister post. People of Karnataka don’t like ‘Maitri’ government.”
1.16 pm: Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar claims every step he takes will become history, PTI reports. “I have to make a conscious decision,” he says. “Every step I take will become history, so I can’t be committing a mistake. Future generations should not look at me like an accused.”
1.09 pm: Congress workers protest against the BJP in New Delhi, amid the crisis in Karnataka, News9 reports. Congress members also storm the well of the Rajya Sabha, shouting slogans against the saffron party.
1.05 pm: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh says Congress is unable to keep its MLAs together and is disrupting Lok Sabha proceedings, News9 reports.
1.02 pm: Congress leader Gulam Nabi Azad is going to Bengaluru, reports News18.
12.59 pm: Congress leaders stage a protest in front of Mahatma Gandhi statute in Vidhan Soudha, Bengaluru, reports News9.
12.57 pm: “We are also requesting the Speaker to take legal action under the anti defection law,” says Siddaramaiah. “We are requesting him in our letter to not only disqualify them but also bar them from contesting election for 6 years.”
12.56 pm: Shivajinagar Congress MLA Roshan Baig resigns from his post, reports News9.
12.51 pm: “Today the legislative party has decided to make a petition before the honourable speaker of the Karnataka legislative assembly, seeking disqualification of the members who are trying to resign from the membership,” says Siddaramaiah. “These are anti-party activities. They have colluded with the BJP.”
12.49 pm: Members of the Congress party hold protest march in Kalaburagi, Karnataka, over the state’s political situation, reports ANI.
12.25 pm: Congress workers protest against BJP at Mysore Bank Circle in Bengaluru, reports News 9.
12.24 pm: “This is BJP’s 6th attempt to destabilise the govt,” Siddaramaiah says. “PM Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah are directly involved in trying to destabilise Congress-JD(S) coalition.”
12.22 pm: Siddaramaiah accuses the BJP of trying to destabilise government in Karnataka and other states, reports News 9. “People of Karnataka did not give mandate to BJP. Yeddyurappa failed to prove majority on the floor of the house,” he says.
12.17 pm: “We also discussed about the political crisis in the Congress Legislative Party meeting. We had planned to expand the cabinet on July 21, says Former Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah in press conference, reports News9.
12.14 pm: Rajya Sabha adjourned till 2 pm after Congress leaders create ruckus over political crisis in Karnataka.
11.55 am: The Congress Legislature Party meeting ends, News18 reports.
11.45 am: The Speaker has refused to act on the resignations until the rebel MLAs meet him and explain their position, News18 reports.
11.30 am: The Rajya Sabha has been adjourned till noon after uproar by Congress MPs over the developments in Karnataka.
11.12 am: Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar also says, according to The News Minute: “I will be in my office till evening. But I cannot accept [resignations] immediately as I would need to verify them. I need to go through the rule book, understand it and then come to a conclusion.”
11.05 am: The rebel MLAs are likely to meet the Speaker at 3 pm, reports News9.
11.04 am: Congress leader MTB Nagaraj is not present at the meeting, cites ill health.
11 am: KR Ramesh Kumar tells News18 he will act in an unbiased manner and there is no pressure on him. “There’s nothing tough before me,” he says. “Everything is normal. Nothing is exciting. I’ll be very calm, level-headed. I’ll do whatever is expected of me by Constitution, by the people of Karnataka.”
He denies trying to contact any rebel MLA. When asked about his thoughts being a Congress leader himself, Kumar says he is no longer a party man when he holds the Speaker’s office.
10.54 am: Ramalinga Reddy’s daughter Sowmya Reddy, who is also a Congress MLA, is present at the meeting, according to News18.
10.53 am: Congress Legislature Party meeting is under way at Vidhana Soudha in Bengaluru.
10.50 am: Karnataka Congress chief Dinesh Gundu Rao says he is confident the government will survive, ANI reports.
10.45 am: Assembly Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar tells reporters he is nowhere related to the current developments. “I am acting as per the Constitution,” he says. “Till now, no MLA has has sought an appointment with me. If anyone wants to meet me, I will be available in my office.”
10.31 am: Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar downplays the resignations, and says they do not upset him, reports News9.
10.17 am: BJP leader Shobha Karandlaje says that her party’s strength is now more than that of the Congress and JD(S). “We are almost 107, they have fallen to 103,” she tells ANI. “I think Governor can take the decision to call BJP to form the government.”
The number 107 includes two independent MLAs who withdrew their support to the ruling alliance on Monday.
10.16 am: Congress MPs Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury and K Suresh give adjournment motion notice in Lok Sabha over the situation in Karnataka, ANI reports. Congress leader BK Hariprasad has given a similar notice in the Rajya Sabha.
10.15 am: Rebel Congress MLA Ramalinga Reddy skips a meeting of the Congress Legislature Party that is currently under way, reports News9.
10.10 am: Security has been tightened at the Vidhana Soudha in Bengaluru, reports News9.
10.05 am: Congress supporters meet Ramalinga Reddy outside his home to convince him to withdraw his resignation. Some Congress leaders also meet him at his home.
10.01 am: BJP MLA SR Vishwanath meets rebel Congress MLA Ramalinga Reddy at his home to convince him not to withdraw his resignation, News9 reports. Reddy is a seven-time MLA and was the home minister in the previous Congress government.
10 am: Several BJP leaders are upset at the party’s decision to induct some rebel MLAs, reports News9.
9.55 am: Security has been tightened at the Prestige Golfshire Club at Nandi Hills road near Bengaluru, where the JD(S) MLAs are staying, reports News9.
9.45 am: Fourteen rebel MLAs – 10 of Congress, two of the JD(S) and two independents – are expected to reach Goa later in the day in a special flight, unidentified officials tell PTI. They had left Mumbai on Monday evening and were taken to Pune first.