The JD (S)-Congress government in Karnataka has fallen into an existential crisis after 16 MLAs from the coalition tendered their resignation. Now, it remains to be seen whether the coalition would be able to survive the trust vote. Karnataka CM H.D. Kumaraswamy has sought a trust vote on the floor of the house. Now, all eyes have shifted to the trust vote and whether the JD (S)-Congress alliance be able to survive the trust vote.
The Karnataka Assembly has a strength of 225 members, including a nominated MLA. The majority mark stands at 113. Before it was hit by a series of resignations, the JD (S)-Congress alliance stood in a comfortable position. The Congress had 78 MLAs, JD (S) had 37. CM Kumaraswamy’s alliance also had support of the nominated MLA, a BSP MLA, an independent MLA and the Karnataka Prajnyavantha Janatha Party. As such the alliance had the support of 119 MLAs. The BJP which is playing the role of the opposition party in the state is also the single largest party in the Assembly with 105 seats.
This was the position before 16 MLAs from the alliance tendered their resignations and the alliance fell into an existential crisis, while CM Kumaraswamy has appeared clueless and confused about these developments. The current crisis triggered by resignations by several MLAs has set up the Assembly for an interesting numbers game.
The resignation of 16 MLAs- 13 from the Congress and three from the CM Kumaraswamy’s JD (S), brings down the total number of members in the assembly to 209. As such, the resignation also brings down the majority mark from 113 to 105. The total number of MLAs in the assembly would be 209 after the resignation of the 16 MLAs. This also effectively changes the majority mark to 105. The resignation of 16 MLAs effectively makes it impossible for the Kumaraswamy government to continue in the face of an inevitable trust vote with just 103 MLAs on its side, once resignations are accepted. 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. Moreover, the independent MLA who was supporting the coalition till now is said to have switched sides to the BJP now which has clearly put the BJP in the commanding position in the state.
From here, it seems unlikely that the HD Kumaraswamy government with its 13-month old coalition would be able to survive the trust vote. It has clearly failed to keep its house in order and as such the party is clearly losing the numbers game. The JD (S)-Congress government is most likely to fall during the trust vote and the BJP seems all set to comfortably cross the majority mark.
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