Coaxed By Congress, Karnataka Lawmaker Hints At Withdrawing Resignation

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MTB Nagaraj said he had resigned due to certain "discontentment" (File)

Bengaluru:

The Congress top brass in Karnataka is working overtime to win back 16 coalition legislators, who had resigned from the assembly last week, putting in danger the state government. In a major relief for the party, MTB Nagaraj, a rebel lawmaker seems to have softened up as he has said that he would think over Congress leaders' appeal to withdraw his resignation.

"The 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 Sudhakar Rao (another rebel) and then see what is to be done, after all I have spent decades in Congress," Mr Nagaraj said.

The lawmaker from Karnataka's Hoskote constituency also said that he would try to convince other legislators to return to the party fold.

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Mr Nagaraj said he had resigned due to certain "discontentment" and that there was disagreement in every political party.

"The party high-command is trying to persuade the MLAs. I will also try my best to help them in their efforts," he was quoted by news agency PTI as saying.

Apart from the coalition legislators, two independents have also resigned. Assembly Speaker Ramesh Kumar has not accepted their resignations.

Hearing the petition of 10 rebel lawmakers, the Supreme Court on Friday ordered the Speaker to maintain a status quo till Tuesday, providing a reprieve to the Congress-JDS government.

On Saturday, five more rebel lawmakers of the Congress-JDS coalition in Karnataka approached the Supreme Court against the assembly Speaker for not accepting their resignations.

If the resignations are accepted, the coalition's 118 members will come down to 100 and the majority mark will drop from 113 to 105. The BJP has 105 members and the support of the two Independents, which takes its tally to 107.

Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy declared on Friday that he would seek a trust vote on the floor of the house and asked the Speaker to "fix a time". In preparation for the test of strength, ruling allies Congress and Janata Dal Secular and rival BJP have arranged to move their lawmakers to resorts to sequester them from "poaching" attempts.

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