2 MLAs withdraw support to Cong-JDS Govt

BENGALURU, Jan 15:
In a jolt to the H D Kumaraswamy led Congress-JD(S) Government in Karnataka, two Independent MLAs today withdrew support to the seven month old Ministry amid turmoil triggered by charges of horse trading flung at each other by the ruling coalition and BJP.
In a significant turn to the political war that erupted on Monday with both sides venting their fears of poaching, H Nagesh (Independent) and R Shankar (KPJP) wrote to Governor Vajubhai Vala, conveying their decision to withdraw their support with immediate effect.
Both lawmakers, staying at a hotel in Mumbai, sent identical letters to the Governor and requested him to take “necessary action”, a move that reduced the ruling coalition’s strength to 118, but still kept it in the safe zone in the 224-Member Assembly.
Putting up a brave face, Congress and JDS top leadership said that the Government was safe, with a seemingly unfazed Kumaraswamy, saying his Ministry was stable and “I am very totally relaxed.”
The action by Nagesh and Shankar came even as the 104 BJP MLAs were hunkered down at a resort in Haryana’s Nuh district near the national capital, fearing their poaching by the ruling coalition.
Shankar was dropped from the Ministry during the recent Cabinet rejig, reportedly for showing reluctance to be an associate member of the Congress.
Nagesh was miffed over not being included in the Ministry.
During the Ministry formation exercise after the May 2018 Assembly polls, Shankar had announced support to the BJP, but made a last minute switch towards Congress.
Nagesh, a former member of Congress, had contested and won as an Independent candidate after not getting the party ticket.
“I know my strength. My Government is stable. Don’t worry,” said Kumaraswamy as he sought to portray of picture of being unperturbed by the development, insisting that the two MLAs action would have no bearing on his Ministry. (PTI)