Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy on Thursday rejected calls for him to quit as his 13-month-old government struggles to stay afloat after the mass resignations of his ruling coalition MLAs.
“Why should I resign? What is the necessity for me to resign now?” Kumaraswamy said in response to a media query, according to PTI. He said that in 2009-’10, then Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa of the Bharatiya Janata Party had not resigned when 18 MLAs had turned against him.
Meanwhile, Kumaraswamy held discussions with senior Congress leaders on Thursday, a day after two more MLAs walked out of the coalition, bringing the total number of rebel legislators up to 16. If Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar accepts their resignations, the ruling Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) coalition will lose its majority in the Assembly.
On Wednesday, 10 of the 16 rebel MLAs moved the Supreme Court against Assembly Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar’s decision to not immediately accept their resignations. On Thursday, the Supreme Court permitted the MLAs who have quit to meet Kumar at 6 pm to tender their resignations. The court asked the speaker to decide on the resignations on Thursday itself, and adjourned the hearing till Friday.
A Bharatiya Janata Party delegation led by BS Yeddyurappa had met Governor Vajubhai Vala on Wednesday and asked him to urge the speaker to resolve the matter quickly. The delegation also met Kumar. However, the speaker told reporters later that he had not accepted any resignations.
“I have not accepted any resignation, I can’t do it overnight like that,” he said. “I have given them [MLAs] time on 17th. I’ll go through the procedure and take a decision.”