A day after promising to stay in the Congress after meeting party trouble-shooter DK Shivakumar and former chief minister Siddaramaiah, lawmaker MTB Nagaraj apparently took a U-turn and flew to Mumbai – where other rebel Congress-JDS MLAs have been camping since the last week, with some Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders.
The development comes at a time when Karnataka minister DK Shivakumar, who is wooing some of Congress rebel MLAs to withdraw their resignations, is claiming that the ruling coalition government will prove its majority during the floor test.
“At the time of Confidence Motion, they're also well-equipped with law. Law is very clear. If they vote against Confidence Motion, they'll lose their membership. Congress party is ready to settle their demands. We're getting signals that they'll save our government,” Shivakumar was quoted as saying by ANI.
A similar attempt was on to persuade MLAs Ramalinga Reddy, Munirathna, K Sudhakar and R Roshan Baig.
Earlier, commenting on the developments, state BJP president BS Yeddyurappa said these efforts would not yield any result as the fall of the coalition government was "imminent".
"There is confusion in the Congress and the JDS due to which the MLAs are fleeing these parties. A systematic conspiracy is going on to bring the MLAs back," the former Karnataka chief minister told reporters here.
"The atmosphere is chaotic and the fall of the government is imminent," he said.
Claiming that the ruling coalition had lost majority in the Assembly, Yeddyurappa said seeking a vote of confidence was "meaningless".
Kumaraswamy made the announcement about seeking a trust vote on the floor of the Assembly after the Supreme Court ordered the speaker on Friday to maintain status quo on the resignations of 10 rebel MLAs of the Congress and the JD(S) till July 16.
The coalition government, which has been shaky since its formation last year following a post-poll arrangement in the wake of a hung verdict, is facing a serious crisis now with 16 legislators - 13 of the Congress and three of the JDS - resigning from the Assembly.
Besides, two Independent MLAs, who were made ministers recently to provide stability to the government, have quit the cabinet and withdrawn their support to the government.
The ruling coalition's strength in the House is 116 (Congress 78, JD(S) 37 and BSP one), besides the speaker. With the support of the two independents, the opposition BJP has 107 MLAs in the 224-member House. If the resignations of the 16 MLAs are accepted, the ruling coalition's tally will be reduced to 100. The speaker has a vote too.