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Karnataka coalition in new crisis as 11 MLAs resign

In a severe jolt to the 13-month-old coalition government in Karnataka, eight Congress and three Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) legislators on Saturday submitted their resignations in the Assembly Speaker’s office.

“I came to know from my personal secretary that 11 legislators gave resignation letters in my office. They were acknowledged with receipts. I will go through them on Tuesday (July 9) as I am on leave on Monday,” Speaker K.R. Ramesh Kumar told reporters at his residence here.

Congress sources in New Delhi said state in-charge K.C. Venugopal, who is in Kerala presently, was rushing to Bengaluru and would meet the Congress MLAs in the evening.

The eight Congress MLAs who resigned are Pratapgauda Patil (Maski), B.C. Patil (Hirekerur), Ramesh Jarkiholi (Gokak), Shivram Hebbar (Yellapur) and Mahesh Kumatahalli (Athani), Ramalinga Reddy (BTM Layout), S.T Somashekar (Yeshvantpur) and S.N. Subba Reddy (KGF in Kolar).

The three JD-S MLAs are A.H. Vishwanath (Hunsur), N. Narayana Gowda (K.R. Pete) and Gopalaiah (Mahalakshmim).

“As the Speaker was not in the office, the legislators submitted their resignation letters to his personal assistant,” a party official told IANS here.

Though Jarkiholi had sent his resignation on July 1, it was not accepted by the Speaker, as it was faxed to his office, which is against the procedure.

Congress legislator Anand Singh from Vijayanagara segment had also resigned on July 1. As he personally handed over his resignation letter to the Speaker, his office acknowledged receiving it.

As the legislators could not meet the Speaker, they went to the Raj Bhavan to apprise Governor Vajubhai Vala of their decision to resign.

Of the Congress legislators, Reddy, a seven-time lawmaker, was a Cabinet minister in the previous Siddaramaiah-led government.

Three more Congress legislators, including Reddy’s daughter Soumya (Jayanagar), Byarti Basavaraj (K.R. Puram) and Munirathna (R.R. Nagar) are also reportedly mulling to resign.

In the 225-member Assembly, the coalition government had 118 members, five over than the halfway mark of 113. These include Congress’s 79 (excluding the Speaker), the JD-S’s 37 and three more – one each from the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and regional outfit Karnataka Pragnyavantha Janatha Party (KPJP) and an Independent.

The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party has 105.

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I am to blame for Congress rout, no more President: Rahul

Rahul Gandhi announced on Wednesday that he has resigned as the Congress President and that he was to blame for the party’s rout in the Lok Sabha elections where it could win only 52 of the 542 seats.

In an open letter made public on his Twitter account, Gandhi, son of UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, also said that the BJP’s sweeping election win proved that the RSS’ aim of capturing the country’s institutional structure was now complete.

“As President of the Congress party, I am responsible for the loss of the 2019 election. Accountability is critical for the future growth of our party,” he said in a letter that was put on his Twitter account which no longer described him as the Congress President.

“It is for this reason that I have resigned as Congress President.”

The letter said: “Rebuilding the party requires hard decisions and numerous people will have to be made accountable for the failure of 2019.

“It would be unjust to hold others accountable but ignore my own responsibility as President of the party.”

Gandhi said that while it was important for someone new to lead the Congress, “it would not be correct for me to select that person”.

Earlier in the day, Gandhi told reporters: “I have already submitted my resignation and I am no longer the party chief.

“The Congress Working Committee should convene a meeting at the earliest and decide on a new party chief.”

Gandhi announced on May 25, two days after the Lok Sabha election results became known, that he would resign as the Congress chief after the party was drubbed. Gandhi was himself defeated in Amethi in Uttar Pradesh but won from Wayanad in Kerala.

In his four-page letter, Gandhi said the RSS, the BJP’s ideological parent, had succeeded in capturing the country’s institutional structure.

He sought to question the role of the Election Commission in the 2019 Lok Sabha battle.

“A free and fair election requires the neutrality of a country’s institutions — an election cannot be fair without arbiters, a free press, an independent judiciary and a transparent Election Commission that is objective and neutral.

“Nor can an election be free if only one party has a complete monopoly on financial resources.”

Gandhi said: “We didn’t fight a political party in the election. Rather, we fought the entire machinery of the Indian state, every institution of which was marshalled against the opposition.

“It is now crystal clear that our once cherished institutional neutrality no longer exists in India..”

“There is a real danger that from now on, elections will go from being a determinant of India’s future to a mere ritual.”

Gandhi alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s victory “does not negate the breath of corruption allegations against him, no amount of money and propaganda can ever hide the light of the truth”.

He said he would remain “a loyal soldier of the Congress” and “a devoted son of India”.

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Video: Telangana Congress Leaders visit Secretariat and Assembly

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KCR making Tughlaq decisions: Congress

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Congress senior leaders visited present buildings of Assembly and Secretariat in Hyderabad. They criticised that CM KCR’s decision to demolish these buildings is nothing but a Tughlaq action. It will lead to only sheer waste of public money. Congress leaders Revanth Reddy, Bhatti Vikramarka, Jeevan Reddy, V Hanumantha Rao, Sridhar Rao and others visited the buildings. They say that the present buildings are in a strong condition and can be used for another 40 to 50 years.

Lot of police descended at the buildings in view of Congress leaders visit. The leaders said that KCR is just fascinating to build new buildings like in the case of Amaravati capital city. KCR is trying to waste thousands of crores of rupees at a time when Telangana already has debts of over Rs 2 lakh crore. Congress leaders are asking why these good buildings are being demolished. Despite their agitation, government is shifting furniture to demolish the structures where new buildings will come up.

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Will Komatireddy Rajagopal exit hurt congress prospect in Telangana?

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Senior Congress leader and Telangana legislator Komatireddy Rajgopal decision to quit congress and plans to join BJP is creating sensation in Telangana State. Congress which has already lost 12 MLA’s to TRS and left with only half a dozen MLA’s is struggling to come out of this mess and prove its existence in Telangana.

Apart from TRS, BJP is trying hard to wipe out Congress from Telangana. BJP has its own plans to wipe out congress from Telangana and play important role as main opposition and later form its government on its own. Once BJP gets its hold in Telangana then it would be easy for it to enter into Andhra.

So at this crucial juncture Rajagopal’s exit will definitely hurt congress, however, these type of conditions are not new to Congress and it is the responsibility of Congress high command to take this seriously and take strict actions and revamp the TPCC if required. It is also required for local leaders to save the cadre if leaders leave the party. As many leaders are unhappy with TPPC Chief Uttam Kumar Reddy it would be good if high command gives a thought about a change of leadership.

At this point, Congress really needs a leader who has good public image and takes congress party into masses effectively. Party should go for young leaders like BJP did previously and take party activities into public instead of depending on Old horses who already lost their shine. If Congress high command does not act now then Congress will lose its existence to BJP.

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Congress flays Centre for going back on special status to Andhra

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The Congress on Wednesday accused the BJP government of trampling “constitutionalism” by disregarding the promise of former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to provide special status category to Andhra Pradesh and said it was akin to betraying the nine core people of the state.

“Trampling upon constitutionalism and backstabbing the trust of the people have become synonymous with the BJP. The new BJP government has broken its first promise by bluntly refusing to grant special category status to Andhra Pradesh and disrespecting the provisions of Andhra Pradesh Reorganization Act, 2014,” Congress media in-charge Randeep Singh Surjewala said in a statement.

He said Finance Minister Nirmarla Sitharaman, who hails from Andhra Pradesh, has said in Parliament that “there was no proposal under consideration of the Central government to grant Special Category Status (SCS) to any state”.

Surjewalka said: “it is a shameful betrayal of nine crore people of Andhra Pradesh”.

Surjewala said that Congress President Rahul Gandhi has repeatedly raised the issue of denying the Special Category Status to Andhra Pradesh and fulfilling the financial commitment to Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. “We hope the new government of YSR Congress will take up this important issue with BJP,” he said.

Surjewala said that on February 20, 2014, when the Andhra Pradesh Reorganization Bill, 2014 was being discussed, the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had made a solemn commitment on the floor of Parliament as Prime Minister of India that for the purposes of Central assistance, special category status will be extended to the successor state of Andhra Pradesh.

“This commitment of special category status to newly carved out state of Andhra Pradesh had been discussed with Arun Jaitley, the then Leader of the Opposition and other senior BJP leaders and they had agreed on the same,” he said.

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‘One nation, one election’ a diversionary tactics: Congress

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The Congress on Wednesday slammed the BJP over simultaneous polls, saying it was a “diversionary tactics” to divert people’s attention from real issues and accused the ruling party of remaining inconsistent on the issue.

The Congress also said that party President Rahul Gandhi has written to the government over the party’s inability to participate in the meeting of presidents of all parties in Parliament.

Congress leader and MP Gaurav Gogoi told reporters at a press conference here that “when we talk of ‘one nation, one election,’ then we also want improvements in the election process.”

He said the Congress has raised questions over the election process as voting for two Rajya Sabha seats is being done on different dates.

He was referring to separate dates for elections to the two Rajya Sabha seats in Gujarat. The two seats were vacated in the state after BJP President Amit Shah and Smriti Irani were elected as MPs.

Congress has approached the Supreme Court over the issue.

“We have raised the issue of electronic voting machines and ballot papers. We have raised issues of how money and state machinery were misused during the elections,” Gogoi said.

“But the Prime Minister ignores them,” he said.

“It is a way to distract people from real issues,” Gogoi said, adding that ‘one nation, one election’ is a constitutional process and if the government wants, then they can hold debate in Parliament over the issue.

Hitting out at the central government, the Congress leader said, “It is the same government which did not hold assembly elections in Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat together. It is the same government which opted for seven-phase Lok Sabha elections to suit their needs.”

Slamming the BJP, he said, when it suits them, they opt for multi-phase elections, when they feel something new should be done, then they talk about ‘one nation, one election’.

“They have not shown consistency in their functioning,” he said, adding, “they delay the model code of conduct to make some announcements.”

“Are they really serious about ‘one nation, one election'”? he questioned.

Beside Congress, many other opposition parties are not attending the meeting called by the Prime Minister over simultaneous polls.

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Congress leaders held for trying to install Ambedkar bust in Hyderabad

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Two senior Congress leaders and former MPs and their followers were arrested here on Tuesday when they tried to install a statue of B.R. Ambedkar.

V. Hanumantha Rao, Harsha Kumar and their supporters were arrested as they reached Panjagutta crossroads in the city with a statue and tried to install it at the same place where a similar attempt by a group was foiled by the municipal authorities in April.

Mild tension prevailed as the Congress leaders, their followers and members of the Ambedkar Statue Protection Committee tried to resist the arrests. Police shifted the leaders to Bollarum police station.

In April, Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) had removed Ambedkar statue from the same place after it was installed by Jai Bheem Society on the eve of Ambedkar Jayanti.

The damaged statue was later found at a dumping yard, evoking strong protests from Dalit organizations who sought action against those responsible.

GHMC officials said since the statue was erected without permission it was removed. They, however, promised to take action against the GHMC employees who loaded the statue on garbage truck and shifted it to a dumping yard.

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Telangana Congress MLA may join BJP

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The Congress in Telangana received another jolt as senior party leader and legislator K. Rajagopal Reddy on Saturday dropped hints that he may join the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

After losing 12 MLAs to the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), the Congress now appears to be losing legislators to the BJP, which made big inroads in the state in recent Lok Sabha elections.

Talking to reporters, Rajagopal Reddy attacked his own party, saying it has no future in the state. He also said that the BJP alone can be an alternative to the TRS in the state.

Rajagopal Reddy, who was elected to Telangana Assembly from Munugode constituency in Nalgonda district, said he would consult his followers before taking a decision to join the BJP.

Praising Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership, he said the “revolutionary measures” taken by him during the last five years had helped the BJP get a fresh mandate in recent elections. He claimed that people, especially youth, believed that the country will develop under the leadership of Modi.

He also said many leaders were looking towards the BJP. His comments assumed significance in the wake of claims of the BJP state leadership that many Congress leaders were in touch with them.

Rajagopal Reddy blamed Congress leadership for the party’s sorry state of affairs in the state. He targeted state in charge R.C. Khuntia and state Congress President Uttam Kumar Reddy, saying their style of functioning led to party’s crushing defeat in the Assembly elections in December last year.

He said if the leadership had taken immediate action to remove Khuntia and Uttam Kumar Reddy, the party would have done well in Lok Sabha elections. He said after losing 12 MLAs to the TRS, the Congress was demoralized.

Rajagopal Reddy’s brother K. Venkat Reddy was one of three Congress candidates elected in the Lok Sabha elections. Making major inroads, the BJP won four seats, wresting three from the TRS, which won nine seats out of 17 seats in the state.

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Firebrand Revanth Reddy expected to join BJP?

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The Congress party in Telangana is facing one crisis after another. The other day, 12 MLAs have shifted loyalties to the ruling TRS party in the State. Now, two MPs are in talks with the BJP national leaders. Rumours are circulating that Malkajgiri firebrand MP Revanth Reddy and Bhongir MP Komatireddy Venkat Reddy are joining the BJP sooner than later. They have already held talks with BJP national general secretary Ram Madhav.

If this happens, Congress will be left with only one MP who is PCC President Uthamkumar Reddy, who is a die-hard loyalist of the Gandhi family. Political circles are full of speculation that the TRS and BJP will finish off the Congress party by destroying its state and second rung leadership totally.

The BJP has now set its sights on the anti-KCR Reddy leaders who are feeling that they cannot defeat TRS if the continue with the Congress. Once an unquestioned power in the Telugu states, the Congress has fallen flat after giving separate Telangana state in 2014. If Revanth and Venkat Reddy join the BJP now, then it is expected to be a final blow to the Congress in the state.

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Video: Telangana political parties focus on Huzurnagar constituency

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Some leaders sold poll tickets, claims Telangana Congress leader

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Differences within the opposition Congress in Telangana once again came to the fore on Saturday when senior party leader V. Hanumantha Rao claimed that some leaders had sold party tickets in the recent Assembly election.

He alleged those who managed to buy the tickets defected to the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS).

“If you give tickets to those who have money this is what will happen,” said Rao while speaking at the hunger strike launched by Congress Legislature Party leader Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka against the “undemocratic” merger of 12 Congress MLAs with the TRS.

The former Rajya Sabha member made the remarks in the presence of All India Congress Committee in-charge of party affairs in Telangana, R. C. Khuntia and leaders of other parties supporting the hunger strike.

When Khuntia tried to stop him, Rao said nobody can stop him from speaking the truth and continued with his speech, targeting the leadership.

“When you give tickets to those who have Rs 10 crore or Rs 20 crore, they will betray the party. Recognise the party workers. Give tickets to them. They will carry the party’s flag high but you have forgotten the workers,” said Rao, who is known for his outspokenness.

“Those who have defected they should never be taken back in the party. You suspend them one day and take them back the next day. How long will this drama continue? We have to correct ourselves and unitedly fight TRS,” he said.

Rao had earlier claimed that Congress had some ‘coverts’ (secret agents) who were leaking party information to TRS President and Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao.

The senior leader’s latest comments came amid growing criticism in the party over the style of functioning of Khuntia and state Congress chief Uttam Kumar Reddy.

Former central minister Sarve Satyanarayana was suspended after he had openly attacked Khuntia and Reddy blaming them for the party’s defeat in the Assembly election.

The Congress party, which won 19 seats in 119-member Assembly in the elections held in December last year, plunged into a crisis with the defection of 12 MLAs to the ruling TRS.

Following a request made by the group of 12 MLAs, the Assembly Speaker on Thursday recognised their merger with the TRS.

This has reduced the Congress strength to just six and the party is in danger of losing the status of main opposition party as All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM), an ally of TRS, has seven legislators.

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Video: Congress Leaders Protest About Merging With TRS

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KCR cripples Congress through CLP merger with TRS

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Telangana CM K Chandrasekhar Rao is demolishing the Congress party with his trademark offensive strategies. Now 12 Congress MLAs have proposed to merge the Congress Legislature Party with the TRS Legislature Party. They have met Speaker Pocharam Srinivasa Reddy and made their representation.

The defecting MLAs claim that the voters have approved of their decision by giving a big victory to TRS in their respective segments in the recent local body elections. Meanwhile, Pradesh Congress Committee President Utham Kumar Reddy, CLP leader Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka and others tried to protest against the merger. The police foiled their plans and arrested them.

Right from the beginning, KCR has effectively used the Aakarsh plans of YSR to attract MLAs to destabilize and cripple the opposition parties.

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Telangana defections: Congress cries ‘daylight murder of democracy’

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Hours after 12 out of its 18 MLAs in Telangana met the Assembly Speaker requesting a merger with the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS), the Congress on Thursday described the development as a “daylight murder of democracy”.

Addressing a press conference at the party headquarters here, Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera said: “The way the people’s mandate and democratic norms are being butchered, it’s a daylight murder of democracy.”

“Just because somebody is in power, has access to resources and can control agencies does not mean he can misuse his power,” Khera said.

“These Congress MLAs were elected after the voters rejected the TRS. This is the murder of people’s mandate. India may ignore it today, but it will never forget disrespect of mandate,” he said.

Under the Anti-Defection Act, defectors need a two-thirds majority to seek a merger with any party. Of the total 19 Congress MLAs in the Telangana Assembly, 12 have shifted loyalty to the ruling TRS.

The development came a day after Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) chief N. Uttam Kumar Reddy resigned from the Assembly after he was elected to the Lok Sabha from Nalgonda in the recent elections.

This brought down Congress’ strength to 18 and the defectors required 12 MLAs to seek Congress Legislature Party’s (CLP) merger with the TRS.

Earlier the CLP in the state Legislative Council merged with the TRS in a similar manner. If this happens in the Assembly too, the Congress will lose the status of state’s main Opposition party.

A party needs one-tenth of the strength of a House to have the main opposition status.

The TRS won 88 out of the 119 seats in last year’s Assembly elections. After the polls, two independents and one of the two Telugu Desam Party (TDP) MLAs switched to TRS. If 12 Congress MLAs further join the TRS, the strength of the ruling party in the Telangana Assembly would go up to 103, bringing down the Congress’ tally to six.

In such a scenario, All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) will get the status of the main opposition. AIMIM, an ally of TRS, has seven MLAs in the Assembly.

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Congress won’t stake claim for LoP in Lok Sabha

The Congress on Saturday said that it will not formally stake claim for the post of Leader of Opposition (LoP) in the Lok Sabha as it is two seats short of the required number of 54.

The party also said that Rahul Gandhi will continue to be the Congress President.

According to the rules, a party needs to have 10 per cent of 545 members, the total strength of the Lok Sabha, to qualify for the post of Leader of Opposition, which is a Cabinet-rank position. But the Congress has got only 52 members in the Lower House, two short of the required numbers.

Addressing a press conference at the party headquarters here, Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said: “We will not stake claim for the post of LoP in the Lok Sabha as we are two short of the 54 members required for the status. However, the onus also lies with the government… whether it wants to designate a party formally as the principal opposition.”

Even in the previous Lok Sabha, the leader of Congress in the House, Mallikarjun Kharge, was not granted the status of Leader of Opposition as the party had won only 44 seats in the 2014 general elections.

When asked if the party was looking at a merger with the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Surjewala said that he had no information about any such merger between the two parties.

When asked if the Congress could stake claim for the LoP status as an Opposition block along with other opposition parties, he said, “The newly-elected Parliamentary party will decide the party’s strategy.”

The Congress Parliamentary Party (CPP) met earlier in the day for the first time after the Lok Sabha elections where UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi was elected the leader of the Congress parliamentarians.

However, the suspense over the post of leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha continues. The party has authorised Sonia Gandhi to take a decision on this matter.

When asked if Rahul Gandhi was still insisting to step down from the post of Congress President, Surjewala said: “Rahul Gandhi continues to be the Congress President. The naysayers will say what they have to. The media has to wait rather than trying to jump to any conclusion. The Congress Working Committee (CWC) has urged him (Rahul Gandhi) to continue as the party President.”

When asked about nationalism and other important issues which were used by the BJP to consolidate support ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, Surjewala pointed fingers at Doklam, where Indian and Chinese troops were engaged in a two-month standoff in 2017.

“Even today Chinese army is deployed in Doklam just 10 metres from the Indian post where a road has been constructed. It is a diplomatic failure on the part of the Indian government,” he said.

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Sonia Gandhi remains Congress Parliamentary Party leader

UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi will continue as the Congress Parliamentary Party leader as the newly elected members of the party in Lok Sabha once again elected her as the leader of the CPP during their first meeting on Saturday here.

Gandhi won the Rae Bareli seat from Uttar Pradesh by defeating the BJP’s Dinesh Pratap Singh by over 1.67 lakh votes.

“Sonia Gandhi elected as the leader of Congress Parliamentary Party! She says, ‘we thank the 12.13 crore voters for reposing faith in the Congress Party’,” tweeted Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala.

The CPP met here at the central hall of Parliament, amid continuing upheaval in the party as current President Rahul Gandhi insists on stepping down following a mammoth debacle faced by the Congress in the Lok Sabha polls.

Sonia Gandhi was party president till 2017 for 19 long years before passing the baton to son Rahul Gandhi.

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High drama in Karnataka politics again

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Karnataka politics again turned hot as there have been speculations about some of the MLAs of ruling coalition planning to shift loyalties. Congress leaders reached Bengaluru from Delhi to avert any kind of crisis. Details as below.

Kumaraswamy led JDS-Congress government has been surviving with slight majority in the house. BJP, with 105 members, is the single-largest party in Karnataka. However, 225 is strength of the house and magic number is 113. The ruling coalition has 117 members – 79 of the Congress, 37 for JDS and 1 for BSP. Now Kumaraswamy is planning to expand the cabinet and those aspirants who are not getting confirmation from CM are threatening to shift the loyalties.

Also in recent Lok Sabha elections, out of the 28 MP seats, BJP bagged 25 seats and there have been speculations that BJP is just waiting for the right moment to dethrone Kumaraswamy. Because of all these, political atmosphere in the state is highly volatile and people are curiously watching the political developments of the statement.

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Congress in crisis as resignations pile up

In the wake of the electoral debacle, the Congress appeared to be in a crisis on Monday with resignations of its leaders piling up and the leadership planning to crack the whip.

Amid the shock in the party, Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Monday met party treasurer Ahmed Patel and general secretary K. C. Venugopal.

Patel sought to scotch speculation that they had gone to meet Gandhi in the context of Congress Working Committee meeting which rejected his offer to resign.

He said meeting with Gandhi was for routine administrative work.

“I had sought time before the CWC to meet the Congress President to discuss routine administrative work. The meeting today was in that context. All other speculation is incorrect and baseless,” Patel said in a tweet.

Meanwhile, three more state party chiefs have tendered their resignations, taking the total number to six.

Congress party chiefs of Jharkhand, Assam and Punjab have also resigned in addition to those from Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Odisha. Karnataka Pradesh Campaign Committee chairman H. K. Patil has also resigned.

Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jhakar, who was the sitting MP from Gurdaspur, sent his resignation to Congress President Rahul Gandhi taking moral responsibility for losing to actor Sunny Deol from the seat. The Congress has generally done well in Punjab winning eight of 13 seats.

Jharkhand Congress chief Ajoy Kumar has also tendered his resignation. The party won only one seat in the state where it had an alliance with the JMM, RJD and other parties.

While the party won Singhbhum seat, it lost Khunti by only 1,445 votes and Lohardaga by 10,363 votes.

The party’s Assam unit chief Ripun Bora also wrote to Gandhi taking moral responsibility for the party not being able to increase its tally from its previous tally of three seats. He has said in his letter that Gandhi may choose to replace him.

Maharashtra unit chief Ashok Chavan, Uttar Pradesh unit chief Raj Babbar and Odisha Congress chief Niranjan Patnaik have already sent their resignations.

Yogendra Misra, the district Congress chief in Amethi in Uttar Pradesh has also sent his resignation, owning moral responsibility for Rahul Gandhi’s defeat from Amethi.

Gandhi had also offered to resign taking moral responsibility for the party’s defeat but the Congress Working Committee unanimously rejected the offer.

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BJP, Congress claim they alone can take on TRS in Telangana

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Buoyed by their impressive gains in the Lok Sabha polls in Telangana, both the BJP and Congress claimed on Friday that they alone can take on the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and emerge as its alternative.

A day after making surprising gains by winning four seats, the BJP celebrated its victory while Congress cadres rejoiced in three constituencies.

In 2014 election, the BJP and Congress had bagged one and two seats, respectively, and this time their prospects looked bleak with the TRS, fresh from its resounding victory in the Assembly election six months ago, aimed for a clean sweep.

TRS’s tally, however, came down from 11 to nine while its ally All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) retained its lone seat.

At the celebrations at the BJP office on Friday, party General Secretary Muralidhar Rao said BJP alone was capable of countering anti-democratic policies of TRS. He said the party alone could fight TRS’ fascist policies and family politics.

He said his party’s victory in four constituencies had given new hope to the party workers. Former Union minister and senior BJP leader Bandaru Dattatreya termed this as a great victory and said it had made BJP a second major political force in the state.

However, state Congress chief Uttam Kumar Reddy said the Congress alone can be an alternative to TRS. He claimed that only Congress has the strength to oust TRS from power.

Reddy, who was elected to the Lok Sabha from Nalgonda constituency, said though BJP was not strong enough in the state, it luckily won four seats. He pointed out that BJP had forfeited its deposit in 100 out of 119 Assembly seats in the election held in December.

BJP had won just one Assembly seat while the Congress had emerged as the second largest party with Assembly 19 seats.

Referring to the defection of 11 Congress MLAs to TRS during the last couple of months, Reddy said the poll results proved that the resignations and defections would have no impact on the party.

Congress leader Revanth Reddy, who was elected from Malkajgiri Lok Sabha seat, said Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao was treating Telangana as his fiefdom and hence the people taught him and his party a lesson.

Revanth Reddy, a bitter critic of the TRS chief, said the people gave this mandate due to the arrogance of Chandrashekhar Rao and his son K. T. Rama Rao.

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