Karnataka crisis: Siddaramaiah blames Modi-Shah for impasse, demands disqualification of 13 rebel MLAs

Senior Congress leader and former Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has held Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP national president Amit Shah directly responsible for the current political crisis in the state. Addressing the media in Bengaluru, Siddaramaih demanded from Speaker Ramesh Kumar to disqualify the rebel MLAs. Siddaramaiah said that the Congress has filed a complaint against the rebel MLAs and urged the Speaker to initiate legal action against them. Not just disqualification, they must be prevented from contesting elections for six years, he said, adding that hope the Speaker takes legal action. Siddaramaiah said this while talking to reporters after a CLP meet in Bengaluru convened to manage the crisis following the resignation of a total of 13 coalition MLAs, including three from the ally JD(S). The resignations were not voluntary and genuine. All the MLAs who attended the CLP meet have reiterated their loyalty to the party, the former Congress CM claimed. Attacking the BJP, he said that the saffron party has been destabilising elected governments in Karnataka and other states in an anti-democratic manner. He said that ever since the coalition government took over in the state, the BJP was trying to destabilise it. This is their sixth attempt, he added. He also said that the Congress will hold a rally against the BJP in the state to expose it. The Congress also raised the matter in Parliament in Delhi leading to disruption and adjournment of both houses on Tuesday. The Congress has labelled the current crisis in Karnataka as an attack on democracy and blamed the BJP for it. A total of 14 MLAs of the ruling Congress-JD(S) coalition have submitted their resignations to the Speakers office. This includes 10 Congress and 3 JD(S) MLAs. The two independent MLAs on Monday also submitted their resignation papers and extended support the BJP which is the single largest party in the 224-chair Karnataka Legislative Assembly with 105 MLAs. If the Speaker accepts the resignation of the rebel MLAs, the coalition government will lose the majority. At present, the Congress-JD(S) government has the support of 118 MLAs.