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Kumaraswamy resigns

S. Rajendran

Governor recommends dissolution of Assembly, President’s Rule

— Photo: Bhagya Prakash K.

Karnataka Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy addresses journalists after submitting his resignation to Governor Rameshwar Thakur in Bangalore on Monday.

BANGALORE: Karnataka Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy submitted his resignation to Governor Rameshwar Thakur on Monday evening, following which the Governor recommended to the President that the Assembly be dissolved and President’s Rule imposed. Earlier, a number of Janata Dal (Secular) legislators demanded in a high-pitched campaign that Mr. Kumaraswamy either continue as Chief Minister or hand over charge to B.S. Yediyurappa of the Bharatiya Janata Party, in order that snap elections may be avoided.

Mr. Kumaraswamy, who had told the Governor earlier in the day that he would resign by 6 p.m., was held up in acrimonious discussions with party legislators and delayed for two hours.

At a press conference after submitting the resignation letter, Mr. Kumaraswamy put to rest rumours that raged through the day of a JD(S)-BJP rapprochement leading to a new coalition arrangement in which Mr. Yediyurappa would be Chief Minister and he the deputy.

The first group to meet the Governor in the morning was from the Congress. It was led by KPCC president Mallikarjuna Kharge and the Leaders of the Opposition in the two Houses of the legislature — N. Dharam Singh and H.K. Patil — and comprised a large number of party leaders. They sought to convince the Governor that the government, reduced to a minority, should be dismissed and President’s Rule imposed.

The Congress legislators, and some associate members of the Congress, individually submitted letters to the Governor stating that they would not extend support to any political party to form a government.

The Congress general secretary in charge of party affairs in Karnataka, Prithviraj Chavan, visited the Raj Bhavan several times during the day.

The JD(S) national president and former Prime Minister, H.D. Deve Gowda, kept out of it all. This gave room for speculation whether JD(S) legislators would repeat what they did in January 2006, when they struck an agreement with the BJP behind Mr. Deve Gowda’s back.

The Governor later called the Chief Minister for a discussion. He is understood to have pointed out to Mr. Kumaraswamy that his government had been reduced to a minority, and that given the situation with regard to the numbers, it would be appropriate for him to put in his papers.

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