Bengaluru, July 22: Ahead of the floor test in Karnataka Assembly today, Congress Minister DK Shivakumar said Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy was ready to give up his post to save the JDS-Congress coalition government. Despite DK Shivakumar's hint at replacing Kumaraswamy with Siddaramaiah or any other Congress leader, rebel MLAs refused to withdraw their resignations.
"JD-S is ready for the Congress heading the coalition government with its Chief Minister. Its (JD-S) supremo H.D. Deve Gowda told our party high command that his party was not opposed to a Congress leader heading the government," Shivakumar told reporters on Sunday. "The JD(S) has also given a free hand to the Congress to choose the new CM among Siddaramaiah, G Parameshwara and myself," the Congress strongman added. Mayawati Directs BSP MLA to Vote For Kumaraswamy Government.
Shivakumar's statement is seen as a last-ditch effort to save the tottering coalition government and bring 15 sulking legislators back in their fold. Many rebels had blamed Kumaraswamy's way of functioning and his brother and PWD minister HD Revanna's interference for their resignations. However, the rebel MLAs stated that they were not going to budge. BS Yeddyurappa Predicts HD Kumaraswamy Govt's End After Monday's Trust Vote, Claims to Have Majority.
“Our self-respect has been hurt and there is no question of going back on our decision to resign even if Siddaramaiah is made the CM,” rebel legislator Byrathi Basavaraj said in a video message. Rebels also rejected Shivakumar's charge that they are being held hostage at gunpoint. "We are not in captivity as some Congress MLAs are claiming. We are moving around freely and we are lodged here of our own free will,” said Yeshwantpur MLA ST Somashekhar.
Meanwhile, JD-S spokesman Ramesh Babu denied such a decision was taken by the party leadership. "I am not aware of this development. We are busy preparing for the debate and vote on the confidence motion tomorrow (Monday) to save our government first," Babu told IANS.
With 15 rebel legislators, including 12 from the Congress and 3 JD-S, resigning from the house, and two Independents withdrawing support, the 14-month coalition government is facing an imminent defeat in the Assembly as the former refused to withdraw their resignations or attend the session for voting in its favour during the floor test.