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Two Independent MLAs withdraw support to Kumaraswamy govt in Karnataka; CM unperturbed

ANI  |  Mumbai/Bengaluru [India] 

Two Independent MLAs H Nagesh and R Shankar on Tuesday withdrew support to the coalition government headed by JD(S)-Congress in Karnataka, adding a new twist to the political drama underway in the state over the last two days.

Nagesh told ANI that he has decided to go with the BJP to "install a stable government" as the H D Kumaraswamy government had "utterly failed".

In the 224-member Assembly, JD(S) has 37 seats and its coalition partner has 80 seats, making the combine's total of 117 seats in the House. The combine also has support of one BSP MLA in the House where the majority figure is 113.

Nagesh and Shankar wrote separate letters to Governor conveying their decision to withdraw support to the government.

"I would like to bring to your kind attention that I am withdrawing my support extended to the coalition government of Karnataka headed by Congress and JD(S) parties with immediate effect," wrote Shankar, who represents Ranebennur Assembly Constituency, in his letter to the Governor.

Nagesh, who represents Mulabagilu constituency, also wrote a similar letter to the Governor.

He later told ANI here: "My support to the coalition government was to provide good and stable government which utterly failed. There's is no understanding among coalition partners. So, I decided to go with BJP to install stable government and see that the government performs better than the coalition."

Karnataka Chief Minister and JD(S) leader Kumaraswamy was unperturbed by the development.

"If 2 MLAs withdraw their support, what will be the numbers? I'm totally relaxed. I know my strength. Whatever is going on in media in the past week, I am enjoying," he told reporters in Bengaluru when asked to comment on Tuesday's development.

Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge, who hails from Karnataka, said the BJP has been "continuously making attempts" to destabilise the Kumaraswamy government but there will be no impact as "those who have been elected on the basis of principles and ideology would not leave".

Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara said the BJP was "trying its best" to destabilise the government by "luring our people with money and power" but the "government is stable".

The withdrawal of support by the two Independent MLAs will not affect the stability of the government but it comes against the backdrop of a political drama wherein the Congress and Opposition BJP are trading charges of horse-trading.

The Congress has alleged that its three MLAs were taken to Mumbai by the BJP as part of luring them into their fold.

The BJP, while dismissing these claims, has alleged poaching attempts by the Congress. The BJP, in fact, has housed all its 104 MLAs in a hotel in Gurugram, on the outskirts of Delhi, because of the fear of alleged poaching.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, January 15 2019. 18:46 IST