Karnataka is witnessing one of the most crucial political crisis ever. The current Congress-JD(S) government led by H.D Kumaraswamy was threatened by 16 MLA’s with a sudden resignation. And with similar events happening with Congress in Goa and West Bengal, the issue has earned national significance.
H.D Kumaraswamy has confidently asked for a trust motion in the parliament. Whereas the MLA’s who have left the party is stringent on their stand. As of now, KJKP MLA and an Independent MLA who was supporting his government too have withdrawn the support.
Flash Back to 2018
After the elections in 2018, no party could emerge with its own majority to form a government. The single largest party was the BJP led by Yeddyurappa with 105 MLA’s.
Though the campaign stage saw a three-cornered fight between Congress, JD(S), and BJP, Congress managed to form a post-poll alliance with JD(S). They formed the government with HD Kumaraswamy of the JD (S) as chief minister. It was after 14 years that Congress and JD(S) came together.
But things weren’t as simple as it seems. The matter had reached the Supreme Court as the governor invited Yeddyurappa of BJP to form the government as it had emerged the single largest party. Yeddyurappa was sworn in as the CM, however, resigned before the motion for trust vote was taken up. This was because the BJP had failed to secure the numbers needed to cross the majority mark.
However, things didn’t go well with the Congress-JD(S) government as well. Lack of stability was a primary concern for the alliance. The seat-sharing during Lok Sabha polls also turned dirty as the rift between the two parties became clearer.
Following this, on 11th March, Karnataka State President of BJP B.S Yeddyurappa said that BJP will form a government in the state, within 24 hours if BJP wins 22 Lok Sabha seats in 2019 General Elections.
The Current Situation: It’s All About Power
The crisis is all about power. The only question that everyone is looking at is if the Congress-JD(S) government will fall in the state.
16 MLA’s of the ruling government had submitted their resignations. Of this 13 MLA’s are of Congress and 3 of JD(S). All 16 of them have made clear that they won’t be returning to their home party. Which clearly means, if the resignations are accepted, the CM will have to show his majority with a trust vote.
Rubbing salt to wound, two more MLA’s who were offering their support to the ruling government- KJKP MLA R Shankar and an Independent one-also have withdrawn support. This clearly means if the resignations are accepted, the governments tally would be reduced by 18.
As the events unfold and the chances of the ruling government to loose majority became clearer, BJP too upped the game. They have been adding pressure on Speaker for not accepting the resignations till now.
The Congress and JD (S) have alleged that the present crisis is the BJP’s brainchild.
And then Supreme Court Interfered
Supreme Court came into the picture, with the rebel MLA’s approached it challenging the decision of Speaker KR Ramesh, who rejected some of the resignations. The apex court ordered to maintain status-quo until it will hear the case again on Tuesday (15th July).
Thus presently, Congress-JD(S) is in power and no decision can be taken until tomorrow.
Mumbai in the picture
Mumbai also came into the picture as the rebel MLA’s are camping in a posh hotel in the city.
Though BJP declined any involvement with the on-going crisis, the chartered flight on which these MLAs flew to Mumbai is owned by a company related to BJP’s Rajya Sabha MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar.
Representing Congress, state minister DK Shivakumar visited the rebel MLA’s. All the ministers from Congress also gave up their position, so that the resigned MLA’s can be effectively accommodated.
All the 21 Congress ministers tendered their resignation to KPCC President, Dinesh Gundu Rao, in the presence of AICC Karnataka in-charge KC Venugopal. Similarly, the 11 JDS ministers also put in their papers to give the chief minister a free hand to save the government.
However, the proposal couldn’t allure the rebel MLA’s. After meeting them, Shivakumar said that he went to the hotel to have coffee with his friends. Following, Shivakumar’s visit the rebel MLA’s, however, filed a complaint with the Mumbai police that they feel threatened.
In a letter to the senior police inspector of Powai police station, the legislators said they have no intentions of meeting senior Congress leaders such as Mallikarjun Kharge and Ghulam Nabi Azad, or Congress functionaries from Maharashtra and Karnataka units. “We anticipate a serious threat from them,” the letter said.
What would happen if the resignations are accepted?
If the resignations of the 18 MLAs are accepted, it means, the strength of the government will stand at 100 in 224-member House. The BJP has 105 MLAs and now enjoys the support of the two independent MLAs.
Things would become clear only in the coming days with the trust motion in the legislative assembly and the decision of the Supreme Court. Meanwhile, Congress chief Siddaramaiah said that the Karnataka Assembly will discuss the confidence motion moved by Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy at 11 am on July 18.
Meanwhile, all one can do is to watch the show as it unfolds.