Published On: Sat, Jul 13th, 2019

Karnataka crisis: Rebel Cong MLA Nagraj softens stand, may return to his parent party

Bengaluru: Congress on Saturday further mounted its efforts to woo back its MLAs even as five more dissident legislators approached the Supreme Court seeking its direction to Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar to accept their resignation and not proceed to disqualify them.

Congress rebel MTB Nagraj with senior party leader D K Shivakumar in Bengaluru.

Congress was seen getting some success in its attempts to persuade its rebels after Hoskote MLA MTB Nagraj softened his stand following his meetings with senior Congress leaders Siddaramaiah and DK Shivakumar here. The party was also trying to pacify another MLA, K Sudhakar Rao.

After meeting Shivakumar, Nagraj said that he will speak to Rao and will take a decision accordingly. “Situation was such that we submitted our resignations, but now DK Shivakumar and others came and requested us to withdraw resignations. I will speak to K Sudhakar Rao and then see what is to be done. After all, I have spent decades in the Congress,” he said.

Shivakumar, who is seen as Congress’ troubleshooter, said that Nagraj assured him to stay with the party. “Happy that MTB Nagaraj (rebel MLA) has assured us that he will stay with us,” he told reporters.

Five Congress MLAs — Anand Singh, K Sudhakar, N Nagaraju, Munirathna and Roshan Baig — filed a petition in the apex court seeking its direction to Speaker Kumar to accept their “voluntary” resignations and not proceed with their disqualification.
Karnataka unit BJP chief BS Yeddyurappa has asked Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy to prove his government’s majority in the Assembly on Monday.

“The Chief Minister had said that he would not continue without seeking a trust vote. He should fulfill his commitment on Monday. We will wait till then,” he said.

Yeddyurappa accepted that he was in contact with the rebel MLAs of Congress and JD(S) who are putting up at a hotel in Mumbai.

“They are all happy and I am in touch with them,” he said when asked if he is in contact with the rebel MLAs.
He also met BJP MLAs, who are staying at Ramada Hotel here, over lunch.

Meanwhile, as many as 10 rebel legislators, who are staying in a hotel in Mumbai, visited Sai Temple in Shirdi to offer prayers.

Another dissident MLAs Ramalinga Reddy, a former state Home Minister, refused on comment on the political situation prevailing in the state.

“I have already told that I do not talk about any political issues till 15 the of this month. I don’t know which leader went to whose house. The Speaker has called on July 15 to meet him,” he said.

Independent MLAs R Shankar and H Nagesh, who took back their support from the coalition government on July 8, have written a letter to the Speaker asking him to arrange their seating in the opposition benches in the Assembly.


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