Karnataka rebels to return from Mumbai on Tuesday

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Bengaluru: The 12 rebel Congress and JD(S) MLAs of Karnataka have decided to end their ‘vanavas’, rather ‘hotel-vas,’ in Mumbai and return to Bengaluru on Tuesday only after the BJP government headed by Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa wins the trust vote on Monday.

The rebels said they would address the press on Tuesday and make their stand clear on what made them to resign from the Assembly.

The rebels, however, clarified that they will not attend the Assembly session or meet Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar at any cost.

The clarification came after Congress legislative party leader Siddaramaiah claimed that he had established contact with 3-4 rebels who promised to return and attend the Assembly session on Monday.

The rebels, in a statement, said Siddaramaiah had not contacted any of them and that they are a united lot.

The seed of doubt sown by Siddaramaiah was enough for the BJP to draw a Plan B just in case a few rebels break ranks and attend the Assembly session.

Yediyurappa held a meeting with top BJP leaders to chalk out a strategy for Monday’s Assembly session. After winning the trust motion, Yediyurappa would fly to Delhi to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister and BJP president Amit Shah and working president JP Nadda to finalise the cabinet list.  

Meanwhile, the BJP received some music for its ears when top JD(S) leader GT Devegowda said a section of the party MLAs are in favour of supporting the BJP government from outside.

A few JD(S) legislators met HD Kumaraswamy and suggested that external support can be extended to the BJP government, GT Devegowda said.

He said the MLAs have asked Kumaraswamy to take a final call. Devegowda was the one who defeated Siddaramaiah in the Assembly elections.  

The difference of opinion among the legislators surfaced in a meeting convened by Kumaraswamy on Friday night to decide the party’s future course of action.

But JD(S) supremo HD Deva Gowda on Saturday quashed such a proposal firmly saying there was no question of supporting the BJP from outside, inside or from any side.

Meanwhile, security has been tightened in Bengaluru. Prohibitory orders under Section 144 will come in to force from 6 am Monday around the Vidhana Soudha which houses the State Assembly.