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Published On: Thu, Jan 17th, 2019

Unreachable Congress lawmakers surface in Bangalore

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kumaraswamy-17By M CHENNA NAGRAJ

NEW DELHI : Clouds of uncertainty caused by the withdrawal of two Independent legislators to the Kumaraswamy led Congress-Janata Dal-Secular coalition in Karnataka seem to have been cleared with leadership being able to wean back the support of some of their non reachable rebels holed up in Goa resorts thus warding off any immediate threat to the survival.
Clarity on the situation emerged when a key rebel MLA Bheema Naik surfaced to meet the party leaders in Bangalore. However, the core group led by former former minister Ramesh Jarakiholi and a couple of MLAs is believed to have continued to remain in their Mumbai resort. 

So also the BJP legislators extended their stay in their Haryana resort, as coalition hangs on to power with a wafer thin margin of 117 legislators marginally higher than 113 required for a bare majority in a 224 member Assembly. The Government’s support was reduced to 118 from 120 after two Independent legislators R Shankar (Ranebennur) and H Nagesh (Mulabagal)  withdrew support to the Congress—JD-S coalition.
Alarmed by the development, the coalition leaders including Congress party incharge K C Venugopal held a series of meetings in the state guest house in Bangalore and assigning tasks to its leaders to win back the rebels.
Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy and other leaders have claimed that there is no threat to the stability of the Government.
Addressing a news conference in Congress headquarters in Delhi, Parliamentary Party leader M Mallikarjuna Kharge maintained that everything was okay for the coalition and the government was stable. He had got inputs on the development from Chief Minister Kumara Swamy and his Deputy G Parameshwara. If the BJP’s intention was not to destabilise the Government, why were they huddling their  MLAs ensconced in a Haryana resort? He asked.
Meanwhile BJP General Secretary in charge of Karnataka P Muralidhar Rao told a newspaper in Delhi that his party had adopted a “wait and watch” policy. “We are not doing anything now… But it is not our responsibility to see that the JD(S)-Congress government remains in power in Karnataka”.
The number of dissident Congress legislators holed up in resorts in Goa and Mumbai were good enough create scare but not enough to win over the support of other disenchanted colleagues. Those holed up in Goa are the first to stir out and break their incommunicado status. 
Karnataka party chief B S Yeddyurappa who stay put with his party MLAs have moved to Karnataka to visit ailing Siddaganga Swamiji in Tumkuru.  However, he remained tight lipped on the issue. However party sources feel that the next BJP move would depend on the tomorrow’s numbers in Congress Legislator’s Party meeting.
In an unrelated development, BJP President Amit Shah was admitted to All India Institute of Medical Sciences for treatment of ‘Swine flu’.  At stake behind this tussle is the coming Lok Sabha polls where the BJP faces a daunting task of saving its 17 seats it had won in 2014 in a triangular contest involving Congress and JD-S. Things have become tougher for the BJP after it losses in the cow belt states — Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh. 

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