Karnataka Congress MLAs to meet to 'save' coalition governmenttext_fields
Bengaluru: Nearly a week after facing rout in the Lok Sabha elections, the Karnataka Congress legislators (MLAs) are meeting here on Wednesday to ensure the continuation of their year-old coalition government with the Janata Dal (Secular) as its ally, a party official said on Tuesday.
"The Congress Legislature Party (CLP) is meeting at a star hotel in the city on Wednesday in the presence of our senior leader Ghulam Nabi Azad and party's state unit in-charge K.C. Venugopal to review the poll results and stay united to sustain the government with the JD-S as our partner," party spokesman K.E. Radhakrishna told IANS here.
CLP leader and former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has directed all the 78 legislators to attend the meeting and participate in the deliberations through party's state unit chief Dinesh Gundu Rao.
"The party will take a serious view if any legislator abstains from the meeting without prior intimation or reason for skipping it," said the official.
Contesting with the JD-S under a pre-poll seat-sharing tie-up in all the 28 parliamentary seats in the ratio of 21:7, the beleaguered Congress won only one to retain Bangalore Rural and lost 20 seats, including 9 where the outgoing members re-contested.
Ally JD-S also won only one, retaining Hassan and losing 6 seats.
Polling was held in two phases on April 18 and April 23 in 14 seats each and votes were counted on May 23.
A resurgent BJP won a record 25 seats across the state for the first time in parliamentary election in the southern state.
"Though there is no survival threat to the government, as all our MLAs are united, the party high command and the party's state leaders are not taking chances, as a handful of them have been dissenting against the leadership and the functioning of the coalition government," admitted the spokesman.
A fractured verdict in the May 2018 state assembly elections threw up a hung house, with the BJP winning 104, Congress 79, excluding speaker, and JD-S 37 and one each by the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), a regional party and an independent.
To keep the BJP out of power though it is 8 seats short of the halfway mark (113) for a simple majority in the 225-member assembly, including one nominated, the ruling allies forged a post-poll alliance to form the fledgling coalition government on May 23, 2018, sharing the cabinet posts in the ratio of 22 for the Congress and 12 for the JD-S in the 34-member ministry.
"As the allies are committed to follow the coalition dharma, we hope there won't be revolt by the so-called rebels who have been threatening to resign from the party and their assembly seats to join the BJP and bring down our government," added Radhakrishna.