Bengaluru: A day after two independent MLAs announced their decision to withdraw support from the ruling coalition government in Karnataka, sources say that four Congress MLAs are all set to tender their resignation. 

The four names doing the rounds are: Ramesh Jarkiholi, Mahesh Iranagouda Kumathalli, Umesh Jhadav and Nagendra. They are the disgruntled leaders of the Congress, who are visibly upset with not being granted a ministerial berth during the Cabinet expansion that took place on December 22.

Two independent MLAs - R Shankar and H Nagesh - wrote to the Governor on January 15 stating that they wish to withdraw support from the ruling coalition government of the Congress and the JD(S). 

Sources from the Congress said that if these four MLAs resign, then four from the BJP would also follow suit. However, senior leaders of the coalition government are considering the option of dissolving the Assembly. This will be the last resort to ensure the BJP doesn’t form the government immediately.

BJP, fearing reverse poaching, have made sure their 104 MLAs of Karnataka are holed up in a hotel in Gurugram. 

Meanwhile, three Congress MLAs were spotted in a hotel in Mumbai. The mastermind of resort politics in the Congress is DK Shivakumar (DKS), Karnataka water resources minister. While he played a pivotal role in shifting MLAs to the Eagleton resort in the outskirts of Bengaluru during state election in May last year, he has now taken a back seat. Congress’s MB Patil is leading the show in terms of pacifying the concerned MLAs. Sources say that DKS has come to an understanding with the BJP, what with the recent I-T heat that has been haunting him. 

The BJP would require 13 MLAs to resign for the total strength of the House to fall from 224 to 211. The magic number would stand at 106. BJP has 104 MLAs. With the two independents, the BJP can sail through and ensure Operation Lotus in Karnataka becomes successful a second time around after 2008.

This is the last straw for BS Yeddyurappa. The party may not consider including him in active politics following the Lok Sabha election in 2019.