Karnataka minister DK Shivakumar. (ANI/Twitter)
Karnataka minister and chief troubleshooter of the Congress DK Shivakumar admitted that he tore up resignation letters of the rebelling lawmakers of the ruling Congress-JD(S) alliance in the state after Opposition BJP leader BS Yeddyurappa alleged the same on Saturday.
"Yes, I did tear resignation papers. I did that out of my emotion. Let them file a complaint against me. I have taken a very big risk. I did this to protect my party and friends," he said.
"They (legislators) are saying some stories. This is not the story to go and resign. It's shocking to all of us. Good sense shall prevail upon them. There's still lot of time," Shivakumar said.
His reaction came as 13 legislators of the ruling alliance submitted their resignation to the Speaker. The ruling coalition has 118 members in the 224-member Assembly.
Yeddyurappa had slammed Shivakumar's efforts to contain the crisis earlier. "People are watching the way DK Shivakumar is behaving. He tore resignation letters of some of the MLAs inside the Speaker's office, who had gone to resign. It is condemnable," the BJP leader said.
Union Minister and senior BJP leader DV Sadananda Gowda said the BJP is ready to form the government in Karnataka if it received an invitation from the governor.
The Congress accused the BJP of trying to bring down its coalition government in Karnataka by "buying" MLAs and asserted that the new word for the 'aaya ram, gaya ram' phenomenon is "MODI -- mischievously orchestrated defections in India".
Senior leaders of the Congress, including Mallikarjuna Kharge, A K Antony, Ahmed Patel, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Randeep Surjewala and Anand Sharma, met to deliberate the political situation arising out of the resignations of MLAs in Karnataka.
"The new word for 'aaya ram gaya ram' is MODI -- mischievously orchestrated defections in India," Congress's chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala told reporters, taking a swipe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
"The Karnataka government which is a joint government having complete majority under our democratic setup is now being sought to be pulled down by a spate of defections and resignations," he said.
"MLAs are being bought in broad daylight. Democracy is being denigrated in broad daylight. Constitution is being trampled in broad daylight in Karnataka by the ruling BJP government at the Centre," he alleged.
Hitting out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister and BJP president Amit Shah, Surjewala said if those who swear by the Constitution and hold such high offices are going to "abdicate" their duty towards the Constitution, there will be no democracy left in the country.
The JD(S)-Congress coalition's total strength, including those who have put in their papers, is 118 (Congress-78, JD(S)-37, BSP-1 and Independents-2), besides the Speaker. The BJP has 105 MLAs in the House.
(With PTI inputs)