Bengaluru: Karnataka Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy on Thursday rejected the opposition BJP's demand for him to quit as his coalition government has been reduced to 'minority' after 16 legislators of the ruling Congress-JD-S submitted their resignations to Assembly Speaker K.R. Ramesh Kumar.
"Why should I resign? What is the necessity?," retorted Kumaraswamy in Kannada when asked amid speculation that he would submit his resignation to state Governor Vajubhai Vala after a cabinet meeting in the afternoon.
Clarifying that he would attend the monsoon session of the state Legislative Assembly beginning here on Friday, Kumaraswamy said how could the Bharatiya Janata Party make such a demand when its former Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa did not resign after 18 of his legislators revolted against him in 2008-09.
"You should ask him (Yeddyurappa) why he did not resign after 18 BJP legislators went to the then governor and gave a joint letter withdrawing their support to him," recalled Kumaraswamy.
Ahead of the cabinet meeting, Kumaraswamy met senior Congress leader Gulam Nabi Azad, party's state in-charge K.C. Venugopal, Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Siddaramaiah, party's state president Dinesh Gundu Rao and Deputy Chief Minister G. Parameshwara on dealing with the crisis gripping their year-old government.
Kumaraswamy's rejection came a day after a BJP delegation, led by Yeddyurappa, on Wednesday petitioned the Governor in Raj Bhavan here seeking the incumbent leader's resignation, as he lost majority and had no moral right to continue as Chief Minister of the coalition government any longer.
The 10 MLAs in the petition have made two specific prayers before the court -- direct the Speaker to accept the resignations tendered and restrain the Speaker from proceeding with application on disqualification of the MLAs.
The petitioners have also requested the passing of an order which it may deem fit in connection with the facts and circumstances of the present case.
"Since the time H.D. Kumaraswamy took oath as a Chief Minister, the administration has come to a standstill and maladministration is writ large. In recent days, the government have been rocked by various scandals," said the petition.
The petitioners contended that the Chief Minister despite being reduced to minority is refusing to seek a vote of confidence. "And, as a result of the concerted acts between the Speaker and the government, a minority government, which does not enjoy the confidence of the House, continues in power illegally.
"A purposive interpretation of article 164 r/w principles of Parliamentary Sovereignty mandate that the Chief Minister should always command the confidence of the House," said the petition.
Describing the current political situation as extraordinary, the petitioners requested "the court to invoke its extraordinary jurisdiction for upholding the democratic principles as enshrined in the Constitution".
Attacking the "deliberate" delay caused by the Speaker, the petitioners said his actions are not in compliance with Constitutional democracy.
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