Political crisis brews in India’s Karnataka state

By Shakir Husain

NEW DELHI, July 10 (NNN-BERNAMA) — The south Indian state of Karnataka has been hit by a political crisis, with resignations by some lawmakers threatening the government’s survival.

Fourteen state assembly members belonging to the Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) parties that form the coalition administration have resigned, according to local media reports.

Most have fled Bangalore, the state capital and India’s leading business and technology hub, and are now staying at a Mumbai hotel as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) asked Karnataka Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy to step down.

Kumaraswamy and the Congress have accused the BJP of influencing the lawmakers’ resignations, which have reduced the government’s strength to 102 in the 224-member legislature.

The legislators staying in Mumbai wrote a letter to police to give them protection, alleging that they feared Kumaraswamy and Karnataka Water Resources Minister D.K. Shivakumar, who is tackling the crisis on behalf of the Congress, were “going to storm” the hotel.

Police on Wednesday stopped Shivakumar from entering the hotel to meet the rebel lawmakers.

The rebels have also filed a case in the Supreme Court against the Karnataka assembly speaker for allegedly refusing to accept their resignations.