In another jolt to the Congress-JD(S) alliance in Karnataka, media reports have indicated that around 14 MLAs of the alliance have tendered their resignations to the speaker of Karnataka Legislative assembly.
“In Congress-JD (S) coalition government in Karnataka, 14 MLAs have resigned against the Government till now, We also met the Governor. We wrote to the speaker to accept our resignation. Coalition Government did not meet the expectations of the people of Karnataka” said the disgruntled JD(S) leader H Vishwanath. He also added that since the Karnataka government has “hurt” them, they “have resigned against the misgovernance of it.” The resignations are pending with the speaker who is poised to decide on them by Tuesday.
Karnataka had presented an interesting situation, in terms of numbers, following the assembly elections in the state with the post-poll alliance of JD(S) and the Congress preventing the more popular BJP with a maximum number of seats(104) from forming the government. JD(S) with the least number of seats(37), riding on Congress ‘ desperation, was successful in grabbing the Chief Ministers post despite Congress being the major contributor to the post-poll coalition with 78 seats.
This post-poll coalition was seen by many being contrary to people’s mandate as the Congress and the JD(S) had fought election opposing each other ferociously. However, later on, due to political expediency had forged this alliance of convenience. Nonetheless, this alliance with no ideological basis has been facing turbulent waters situation since its inception. Several incidents indicating possible cracks in the alliance have surfaced. As an alliance with JD(S) already in a critical condition, problems for the coalition have further intensified with these resignations. The recent Lok Sabha elections results have also indicated the declining support for the alliance in the state. The alliance just won on 2 out of the total 28 Parliamentary Constituencies in the state.
The resignation spree has led to an interesting situation in the Karnataka Vidhan Soudha. As of now, the future of Kumaraswamy government looks bleak and it is unlikely to survive the trust vote.
Currently, the Congress-JD(S) alliance boasts of 118 MLAs (78(Congress)+ 37(JDS) + 1(BSP) +1(IND) + 1(nominated) ) in the assembly where the total number is 225, including the speaker and a nominated member from the Anglo-Indian community. The resignation of 14 MLAs brings down the total number in the assembly at 210, excluding the Speaker. As such, the resignation also brings down the majority mark. The total number of MLAs in the assembly would be 210 (excluding the speaker) after the resignation of the 14 MLAs. This also effectively changes the majority mark to 106. The resignation of 14 MLAs effectively makes it impossible for the Kumaraswamy government to continue in the face of an inevitable trust (which is likely to happen on 12th July) vote with just 104 MLAs on its side. Currently, BJP has 105 MLAs ( 1 added after by-poll victory in Chincholi in Kalaburagi) in the assembly and is also supported by the lone MLA of KPJP bringing BJP+ to 106. That essentially puts BJP in the majority position at this stage. In the coming week, if the speaker accepts the resignation of the MLAs, the JDS-Congress coalition will face the trust vote in the assembly. As it stands, the coalition does not have the numbers to prove the majority and is likely to fail the trust vote. The lone independent MLA and the BSP MLA likely to sway towards the party that is likely to capture power in the state and as of now, the numbers favor BJP in this regard. It should also be noted that even without the support of one independent MLA and the BSP one, BJP is on a strong footing.
Commenting on the developments, former CM Yeddyurappa has stated, “I had said on the floor of the House after I resigned from the CM’s post that the JD(S) would finish Congress in the state, which has now come true.” He also categorically denied that BJP had anything to do with the resignations.
BS Yeddyurappa, BJP: Me & my party have nothing to do with developments in other rival parties. I heard through media that Congress-JDS legislators have resigned from their Karnataka Assembly seats. I'm categorically reiterating that BJP has absolutely no say on the issue. pic.twitter.com/5roZgOirEQ
— ANI (@ANI) July 6, 2019
The BJP has already stated that it is ready to form the government with Yeddyurappa as the CM. According to media reports, Union Minister Sadanand Gowda stated that, “Governor is the supreme authority, as per the constitutional mandate if he calls us, certainly we are ready to form the government. We are the single largest party, we have got 105 people with us.” It is very clear that as of now, the Kumaraswamy government’s position is precarious, to say the least. It is unlikely that the coalition will be able to pass the floor test with its current numbers. For the JDS-Congress coalition, this could very well the end of the road and the next week might be witnessing a new government formation in Karnataka possibly led by BJP.