Karnataka crisis: Rebel Congress MLA MTB Nagaraj makes U-turn, says his resignation stands

Rebel Karnataka Congress MLA MTB Nagaraj on Sunday returned to Mumbai and joined the rebel lawmakers at a hotel where they are staying since July 6, the day most of the MLAs resigned from their Assembly membership. Nagarajs decision to join the rebel MLAs comes a day after he promised to return to the Congress and bring another rebel MLA K Sudhakar to the party fold when Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy faces a trust vote in the Legislative Assembly later this week. In Mumbai, Nagaraj told reporters that there was no question of him withdrawing his resignation. Even now I will speak to Sudhakar and come to a decision. There is no question of me taking back my resignation, Earlier in the morning on Saturday, Congress-JD(S) leaders had held talks with Nagaraj in a bid to pacify him and bring him back. Nagaraj had said that he will take a final decision on the withdrawal of his resignation after talks with Chikkaballapura MLA K Sudhakar. The two MLAs had resigned together on July 10. Sudhakar has switched off his phone and is not available for the last two days. After pacifying and convincing Sudhakar, I will try to bring him back. Because we both had resigned together, so we want to be united. I have informed this to Congress leaders, Nagaraj had told reporters in Bengaluru before leaving for Mumbai. ST Somashekar Gowda, another rebel Congress MLA, told reporters in Mumbai that there was no question of withdrawing resignations. So far, 13 Congress and three JD(S) MLAs have submitted their resignation letters to Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar. If the resignations of the 16 MLAs are accepted, the strength of the assembly will be reduced to 209. In such a scenario, a party or a coalition needs 105 MLAs to prove majority. The Congress-JD(S) strength will be reduced to 101 while the BJP has 105 MLAs. Two independent MLAs have also quit the government and extended support to the BJP.