The political drama in Karnataka saw a new twist on Monday with all Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) ministers resigning from their posts in order to make way for a cabinet reshuffle and accommodate the rebel MLAs who had submitted their resignations over the weekend.
Earlier in the day, Congress leader and former Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah told the media that 21 Congress ministers had "voluntarily" decided to resign from their posts. Later, chief minister HD Kumaraswamy also said that all JD(S) ministers had also submitted their resignations.
The move is a last-ditch attempt by the coalition government to keep its numbers in the Assembly and placate the 14 rebel MLAs with ministerial berths.
As of now, 14 MLAs, 10 from Congress, 3 from JD(S) and one independent MLA who was supporting the coalition, have submitted their resignations thus threatening the collapse of the coalition.
If the Speaker, who is back in Bengaluru on Tuesday, accepts the resignations, the coalition numbers will fall to 104 from the current 118, while Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) stands at 105. With the total Assembly strength reduced to 211 from 225 if the resignations are accepted, BJP will be just an inch away from the new halfway mark of 106 in the Assembly.
Congress leaders continued to level accusations against the BJP of resorting to horsetrading to destabilize the government. A fresh controversy erupted after G Parameshwara, who on Monday stepped down as the deputy chief minister, tweeted an article that claims that the plane used to fly 10 rebel MLAs to Mumbai over the weekend was chartered by a firm owned by BJP Rajya Sabha member Rajeev Chandrasekhar.
Chandrasekhar hit back at the Congress claiming that the aircraft was a commercial charter , which has has been chartered by several Congress ministers in the past as well.