Rebel Congress MLA MTB Nagaraj flew to Mumbai on Sunday where he quashed hopes of the Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) government by saying that there was no question of withdrawing his resignation, PTI reported. This came a day after Nagaraj had said that he would reconsider his decision to quit after meeting Congress leaders.
Before leaving for Mumbai, the rebel lawmaker had said that he would take the final decision after discussing with Chikkaballapura MLA K Sudhakar, who had resigned along with him. “Sudhakar has switched off his phone, and is not available for the last two days,” he had said. “After pacifying and convincing Sudhakar, I will try to bring him back. Because we both had resigned together, so we want to be united. I have informed this to Congress leaders.”
Later in the day, Nagaraj refuted speculations that senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader R Ashoka had flown with him on the flight to Mumbai or that the saffron party had swayed his decision.
Congress MLA HK Patil had, earlier on Sunday, said that Nagaraj had gone to Mumbai to bring back Sudhakar and other lawmakers. However, dissident Congress MLA ST Somashekar dismissed the claims, saying that Nagaraj had joined the rebel legislators.
“We are together,” NDTV quoted Somashekar as saying. “We won’t take our resignations back at any cost. Nagaraj is also with us. K Sudhakar is in Delhi and he is also in our support, he may join us here in Mumbai anytime soon.”
Congress leader DK Shivakumar had alleged that BJP was behind Nagaraj’s travel to Mumbai. “They [BJP] have been fooling around that it has no relation with the current situation,” PTI quoted him as saying. “They have been saying that it is the internal matter of Congress and the JD(S) and they have no knowledge about it.”
The coalition government in Karnataka has been trying to win over the rebel legislators amid Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy’s announcement for a trust vote on Friday. If the MLAs do not return to their parties before the trust vote, the government will have the support of only 100 MLAs. The BJP will have the support of 107 MLAs.