Karnataka ministers resign to help cabinet reshuffle


All the ministers in the dissidence-hit Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) government in Karnataka resigned on Monday in a desperate bid to save the ministry of Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy from collapse by facilitating a fresh cabinet reshuffle. While 21 ministers of coalition partner Congress quit the cabinet first it was followed by the resignation of nine ministers belonging to Janata Dal (S).

“All Janata Dal(S) ministers have also resigned like the 21 Congress ministers who submitted their resignations. The cabinet will be reshuffled at the earliest," the Chief Minister's Office said on Twitter. The crisis in Karnataka was triggered by the resignation of 13 disgruntled lawmakers of the ruling coalition—10 of the Congress and three of the Janata Dal (S)--that pushed the Kumaraswamy to the brink.

The resignation of all the ministers came hours after the Congress–Janata Dal (S) coalition government today suffered another blow when an independent lawmaker who is also a minister resigned and withdrew support to the shaky Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy-led ministry which has already been pushed to the brink of collapse.

The legislator H Nagesh, who was recently inducted into the government as Small Scale Industries Minister, met Governor Vajubhai Vala in Bengaluru and submitted his letter of resignation and also "unequivocally" extended support to any move by the Bharatiya Janata Party to form an alternative government.
The Congress-Janata Dal (S) government has plunged into crisis with 13 disgruntled lawmakers of the alliance—10 of Congress and three of Janata Dal (S)—have resigned so far.

The ruling coalition faces the risk of losing its majority if the resignations are accepted. The Janata Dal(S)-Congress coalition's total strength after Nagesh’s withdrawing his support is 117 (Congress-78, Janata Dal(S)-37, Bahujan Samaj Party-1 and Independents-1), besides the Speaker, in the 224-member legislative assembly. With Nagesh on its side, the BJP now has 105 lawmakers in the House where the half-way mark is 113. If the resignations of the MLAs are accepted, the ruling coalition's tally will be reduced to 104.

On June 14, Kumaraswamy had expanded his cabinet by inducting Nagesh and another independent legislator Shankar in an apparent bid to give stability to his 13-month-old wobbly government. The exercise was seen as a move to ensure the two Independents don't jump the ship. Nagesh, a former Congress member, contested and won as an Independent after not getting a party ticket in the 2018 assembly polls.