The Congress-JD(S) coalition government in Karnataka has been pushed to the brink by a series of resignations.
It all began with Congress MLA Anand Singh's resignation on July 1. On July 6, another 12 legislators -- nine from the Congress and three from the JD(S) -- resigned, plunging the government into a crisis.
The Karnataka government went into a huddle following the resignation of these 13 MLAs, on Monday -- after Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy's return from the United States on Sunday evening. He was in the US for a personal visit.
Kumaraswamy straightaway held a series of meetings with leaders of the JD(S) and Congress, including the Congress legislative party leader and former chief minister Siddaramaiah without a break till late Sunday night.
WHAT TRIGGERED THE QUANDRY?
A major trigger for the quandry -- for six Bengaluru MLAs of the JD(S) and Congress to feature among the rebels -- was a move by the SIT to arrest Assistant Commissioner for Revenue (Bangalore North), L C Nagaraj on July 5. He was accused of receiving a bribe of Rs 4.5 crore from the IMA Group.
Initial investigation revealed that at least 40,000 investors suffered losses to the tune of Rs 1,000 crore through investments in the IMA Group, whose founder Mohammed Mansoor Khan is absconding.
A Congress MLA, R Roshan Baig, thereby, was suspended due to anti-party activites. The MLA landed in trouble when Mohammad Mansoor Khan, accused him of taking Rs 400 crore from him and not returning it.
Baig rubbished Mansoor Khan's charge and called it a conspiracy against him by his adversaries.
Baig told PTI that he had not yet decided on resignation. Speculation was, however, rife that he would join the rebel camp.
The Congress MLA from Shivajinagar constituency had reportedly been up in arms against senior party leaders earlier too.
WHAT LIES AHEAD?
The JD(S)-Congress coalition's total strength in the state assembly, including those who have put in their papers, is 118 -- Congress 78, JD(S) 37, BSP one and two Independents, besides the speaker.
The BJP has 105 MLAs in the House, where the half-way mark is 113.
If the resignations are accepted, the coalition's tally will come down to 105. The speaker also has a vote.
Ten of the rebel MLAs have camped in a Mumbai hotel and have made it clear that they will not attend the Congress Legislative Party meeting on Tuesday since they have tendered their resignation at Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar's office.
To this end, the speaker would take a call on Tuesday.