The JD(S) and Congress combine have a mountain to climb and their disgruntled elements are posing a tough time. But BJP should rush things and wait for the combine to fall under their own contradictions and contrasts
Bengaluru: Karnataka, at the moment of writing, technically has no ministers to govern it.
But the tragedy of Karnataka, in the last 14 months is that, even when there were ministers, the state saw very little of governance.
And that is because the HD Kumaraswamy government has been stumbling from one crisis to another, that all its time was spent mostly in political firefighting.
Today, things are teetering on a precipitous edge. All the 21 Congress and nine JD(S) ministers have put in their papers. This is in a bid to lure back the 12 disgruntled MLAs who have quit, which decision is hanging fire as the Speaker is still to okay it.
On a day filled with political flux, the Independent MLA H Nagesh, who was also a minister, resigned (July 9) and has jumped to the BJP bandwagon. He also left for the five-star hotel in Mumbai where the rebel MLAs were currently ensconced in.
In a last-ditch bid to win back their loyalties, the sitting ministers in HD Kumaraswamy quit and the word is that the rebel MLAs have been assured of ministerial berth if they come back to their parent party.
It was a desperate throw of the dice by the Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) think-tank to salvage the tremulous government.
If things stay as they are now, the ruling combine in Karnataka does not have the numbers should there be a floor test in the assembly.
With 12 MLAs resigning (though it is still to be accepted by the Speaker), the effective strength of the Karnataka Assembly has come down to 211. More pertinently, the Congress-JD(S) seem to barely touch the 105 including the Speaker’s vote. This, of course, means that the ruling coalition does not enjoy the requisite majority of the House. The BJP, on the other hand, with the independent MLA joining forces with them would seem to have 106 MLAs in its support.
The JD(S) and the Congress leaders are putting a brave front saying that the rebel MLAs would come back and also they have the backroom skills to lure some MLAs from the BJP camp. This just looks like bluster as the JD(S) and the Congress are actually worried that some more of their existing numbers may jump ships. The JD(S) MLAs, in an emergency move aimed at shepherding them from further poaching, were reportedly being taken to a resort.
The BJP, for its part, has been claiming that it has nothing to do with the turn of events in the Congress and the Janata Dal (Secular). But there are only a few takers for the claim, as the whole episode is being branded as “Operation Kamala 4.0” by the media.
Irrespective of what happens, the BJP should not be hasty. Instead, it should wait and watch as there is every likelihood of Kumaraswamy government falling under the wait of its own contradictions and contrasts.
Quite simply, the JD(S) and the Congress have lost the moral right to continue in office as their time is mostly spent on tending to their own inner party affairs. But when it falls, trust the two parties to play martyr and project themselves as if they were toppled from outside.
The BJP, if sources are to believed, is not keen on a midterm election, and instead may want to stake claim to power under the stewardship of BS Yeddyurappa.
That may be politically convenient, but in the long run may backfire as the 14-month rule of the JD(S)-Congress combine has left a trail of disaster. Cleaning them up would be a tall order. BJP should not fall into that trap. Wait and watch should be its mantra.
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Last Updated 9, Jul 2019, 5:53 PM