Bengaluru, Jan 15 (IANS) In a jolt to the seven-month-old Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S)-Congress coalition government in Karnataka, two legislators — a member of a regional outfit and an Independent — on Tuesday said they are withdrawing their support.
R. Shankar, a legislator from Ranebennur Assembly segment in Haveri district, belonging to the regional Karnataka Pragnavantha Janata Party, and H. Nagesh an Independent from Mulbagal constituency in Kolar district, withdrew their support to the coalition.
“I had extended support to the JD-S-Congress coalition expecting good governance, but have been disappointed,” Shankar told the media.
The two legislators shared with the media their letter to Karnataka Governor Vajubhai R. Vala withdrawing their support to the coalition.
Shankar, who was a former Forest Minister in Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy’s cabinet, was dropped from the Ministry during a reshuffle and expansion on December 22 last year.
He sent the letter withdrawing support to the Governor on the official letterhead of the Ministry he was incharge of before he was sacked.
The withdrawal of support by the two MLAs came amid an ongoing political war between the coalition partners JD-S and Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over alleged poaching of Congress legislators by the BJP.
Speaking to reporters here, senior Congress leader K.C. Venugopal blamed the BJP for indulging in horse trading.
“There is no threat to Kumaraswamy government, but the BJP is desperately trying to destabilise the government through ugly horse trading,” Venugopal said.
The BJP was approaching and luring each Congress legislator with money, the Congress leader alleged.
Responding to the development, Congress leader and Deputy Chief Minister G. Parameshwara blamed the BJP for trying to topple the state government.
“BJP is trying to sway the legislators with money power. Their aim is to topple the government, but we are confident of retaining our stability as we have the support of all our legislators,” Parameshwara told the media here.
In the 225-member Karnataka Assembly, the Congress has 80 MLAs including the Speaker, the JD-S 37 and the BJP 104.
While the BJP has denied the poaching allegations, it has kept 99 of its 104 legislators at a private resort in Gurugram, adjoining the national capital, state unit spokesman Vamanacharya said.
“A total of 99 legislators are currently at a private resort, while the other five are in Delhi and in touch with us,” he told IANS here.