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  Opinion   Edit  16 Jan 2019  Power games in Karnataka

Power games in Karnataka

Published : Jan 16, 2019, 12:19 am IST
Updated : Jan 16, 2019, 12:19 am IST

With the Lok Sabha election just 90-odd days away, the toppling game has only just begun.

Karnataka chief minister H.D. Kumaraswamy
 Karnataka chief minister H.D. Kumaraswamy

Depending on whom you believe, Karnataka’s Janata Dal(S)-Congress government will either fall Thursday, or the BJP’s Operation Lotus-4 will go into effect before February 8 to stop chief minister H.D. Kumaraswamy, shorn of a majority, from presenting his Budget. Next, dissolution of the Assembly, which could be kept in suspended animation or President’s Rule imposed so that Karnataka goes to the polls along with Parliament in May, so the BJP can ride on Narendra Modi’s coattails.

But there’s many a slip between the cup and the lip. Speaker Ramesh Kumar could refuse to accept resignations. Unlike 2008, when then BJP CM B.S. Yeddyurappa executed Operation Lotus, this time the game was no secret. Third, even with two Independent legislators withdrawing support on Tuesday, giving the impression that Ramesh Jarkiholi’s rebellion may gain traction, he still needs 20-35 from the Congress camp for the 120-member coalition to fall.

The Gokak MLA’s first attempt, after being dropped from the Cabinet, couldn’t drum up the numbers. The second foray, that began with a rebel quartet he ensconced in a Mumbai hotel, with the blessings of a Maharashtra BJP MLA, has seen the Congress’ trouble-shooter D.K. Shivakumar dispatched swiftly to woo them back.

The JD(S), believing the Congress is only paving the way for former CM Siddaramaiah to make a comeback, reflects the extreme mistrust which marks this shaky coalition. The BJP’s sham sequestering of 100 legislators in Gurgaon to distance itself from poaching allegations notwithstanding, the uneasy Congress-JD(S) equation is what encouraged the Lingayat warhorse to fish in troubled waters in the first place.

With the Lok Sabha election just 90-odd days away, the toppling game has only just begun.

Tags: h.d. kumaraswamy, narendra modi, b.s. yeddyurappa