Bengaluru: Restricting the gathering of more than five persons and any form of protest within the two-km area around the Vidhana Soudha in the city, Bengaluru police commissioner Alok Kumar has issued prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC).The order has been issued after a spate of resignations of MLAs, threatening the existence of the coalition government in Karnataka, which has set the stage for a major political showdown.

The police commissioner issued the orders on Wednesday night, following the ruckus that ensued when senior Congress leaders allegedly manhandle MLA Sudhakar when he stepped into the Speaker's office to submit his resignation.

The prohibitory orders have come into effect on Thursday when chief minister HD Kumaraswamy is scheduled to chair a Cabinet meeting in the backdrop of 18 MLAs, including housing minister MTB Nagaraj and two Independent legislators -- R Shankar and H Nagesh -- who withdrew their support to the Congress-JD(S) coalition government.

Assembly Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar is yet to accept the resignations of the MLAs. Kumar has said he has to first hear the legislators. He has also pointed out that of the 18 resignations of the MLAs, only five were in proper format.

The developments surfaced well ahead of the Assembly session starting Friday.

The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has asked Kumaraswamy to step down, claiming that his government has lost the majority.

The saffron party has also urged the Governor to step in following the crisis. According to sources, BJP members have petitioned the Governor seeking his intervention and they may even move a no-confidence motion against the government.