If rumors surrounding the Vidhan Soudha in Bengaluru are to be believed, Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy’s government might be in huge trouble. The Janata Dal Secular and Congress coalition in Karnataka is yet to complete 100 days of its rule in the state. The fact that trouble for the Congress-JDS coalition government is brewing from inside the respective parties as opposed to outside is even more devastating. Kumaraswamy has faced tough times since he accepted the CM’s chair offered by Congress, first the fight over cabinet portfolios, the ever-looming problems of dissent between the one-time arch enemies of JDS the MLAs of Congress and now the floods in Kodagu. According to sources, the root cause of his troubles now could be the former Chief Minister and senior Congress leader Siddaramaiah. Siddaramaiah has never left an opportunity to show the disdain he has for his party’s decision to join ranks with JDS. Offering the CM’s chair to H D Kumaraswamy by the Congress’ central leadership irked him even further.
According to sources, Siddaramaiah has reportedly held several discussions with the Bharatiya Janata Party leader B S Yeddyurappa. The one-time enemies now seem to be getting close to each other to rid the state of their common enemy, who now occupies the CM’s chair in Karnataka. Rumor has it that Siddaramaiah is likely to part ways with the Congress party with 17 MLAs right after the HD Kumaraswamy government crosses the 100-day mark on August 30th. It is also being speculated that the former Chief Minister could join BJP, which has allegedly offered to make him the vice-President or a Governor in 2022, because his distaste for Kumaraswamy and JDS knows no bounds. To add fuel to fire, the decision of the Congress central leadership to side-line him while and post forming the government in the Karnataka has irked Siddaramaiah enormously, and now he is looking to take revenge. Kumaraswamy was made aware of this plot by sources while he was on a visit to New Delhi for former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s last journey.
The Karnataka Vidhan Soudha has a total of 224 seats, out of which 2 seats lie vacant as of today. BJP is still the single largest party in the state with a total of 104 MLAs, while the Congress-JDS coalition currently has 115. To cross the halfway mark, 111 (since two seats lie vacant), the BJP just needs the support of 8 more MLAs. If Siddaramaiah indeed succeeds in breaking the Congress by taking 17 MLAs with him there would be no issues at all for the BJP to form government in Karnataka. According to sources it was JDU leader Nitish Kumar who had approached the former CM with the BJP’s proposal, following which Siddaramaiah has spoken countless times to BJP leader and former Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa. 14 Congress MLAs mostly belonging to the Lingayat and Valmiki communities will be brought on board by Siddaramaiah. These communities who have outrightly supported the BJP this time and are not likely to object to the decision of MLAs to break away from the JDS-Congress coalition in the state, which is being seen by many as distasteful. While it is unclear how true these rumors are, there are no doubts that the threat of a rebellion is hovering over CM Kumaraswamy in Bengaluru. In September, the incumbent Chief Minister of Karnataka might be forced to vacate his chair for what is being rumored to be a better suited candidate from the BJP.