In a severe shock to the Congress-JD(S) coalition in Karnataka, the alliance has failed to prove its majority in the floor test held yesterday. With this, the high voltage political drama preceding the trust vote has come to an end. This is an intense blow for the Congress which is already finding it hard to make a comeback ever since it started getting decimated after the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. What makes this sudden political development in Karnataka even more significant is the fact that it opens a Pandora’s Box as far as the states of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh are concerned.
It must be noted that in the case of Karnataka, 17 coalition MLAs skipped the proceedings, taking the coalition government below the majority mark. However, what must have sent the warning bells ringing for the Congress is the fact that the lone BSP MLA and two independents did not turn up even as the alliance finished with merely 99 votes well below the magic figure of 103. This has exposed the possibility of the BSP MLA and the independent MLAs switching sides. Though Mayawati has expelled the lone MLA from his party who skipped proceedings in the Karnataka Assembly, the possibility of a similar turn of events in other states cannot be ruled out. Mayawati said, “BSP legislator N Mahesh was absent in today’s trust vote, which is indispensable.” She also tweeted, “In violation of the instructions of the party high command to vote in support of the Kumaraswamy government in Karnataka, BSP legislator N Mahesh was absent in today’s trust vote, which is indispensable, which the party took very seriously and therefore expelled Mr Mahesh from the party with immediate effect.”
कर्नाटक में कुमारस्वामी सरकार के समर्थन में वोट देने के पार्टी हाईकमान के निर्देश का उल्लंघन करके बीएसपी विधायक एन महेश आज विश्वास मत में अनुपस्थित रहे जो अनुशासनहीनता है जिसे पार्टी ने अति गंभीरता से लिया है और इसलिए श्री महेश को तत्काल प्रभाव से पार्टी से निष्कासित कर दिया गया।
— Mayawati (@Mayawati) July 23, 2019
The situation can worsen in a similar manner for the Congress in the state of Madhya Pradesh. Currently, the BJP has 109 seats in the 230-member Assembly while the Congress has 114. BSP has two MLAs, SP has one and the rest of the legislators are independents. The Congress currently enjoys the support of BSP but the BSP supremo Mayawati had spoken about reviewing alliance with the grand old party in April this year after the Guna Lok Sabha candidate of BSP pulled out of the election race and joined the Congress. As such the Congress does not have a very big lead over the BJP in Madhya Pradesh. It is a touch and go situation and if a Karnataka-like political drama takes place then anything is possible from this situation.
Congress would feel relatively safer in the state of Rajasthan. The Congress has 100 MLAs in the 200-member assembly. The BJP has 73 while the BSP plays the role of kingmaker here as well with 6 MLAs. This again puts the Congress at the peril of BSP lawmakers, however, the situation might be a little more manageable with several independents and small parties in the fray and the Congress requiring only one MLA’s support to keep it in the majority. The party, however, must keep its house in order. Otherwise, a Karnataka-like situation cannot be ruled out in the state of Rajasthan as well, in which case the Congress would have a tough time proving its majority.