Efforts to form a government with the support of rebel Congress-Janata Dal Secular (JD-S) MLAs in Karnataka seem to have backfired on the BJP with the party failing to garner adequate numbers within 48 hours of making a move.
Despite the setback, the BJP has kept its option open.
BJP Karnataka President and Opposition leader in State Assembly BS Yedurappa has asked all party MLAs to stay put in a Gurugram (Haryana) hotel for the next couple of days. He told party MLAs that the central leadership has adopted a ‘wait-and-watch’ policy.
Kumaraswamy expressed confidence that his government would survive, as the Congress and the JD(S) closed ranks and made efforts to quell the dissidents. Two independent MLAs withdrew support to the JD(S)-Congress coalition government in the State by sending a letter to the Governor on Tuesday but failed to turn up at the Raj Bhavan. Meanwhile, a few disgruntled Congress MLAs, who were holed up in Mumbai, returned to Bengaluru.
On Tuesday, the Congress took the lead by flying in party in-charge of Karnataka KC Venugopal. The AICC member met Chief Minister Kumaraswamy and resolved the differences of Ballari and Belagavi camp, which were the most rebellious.
Kumaraswamy dismissed any threat to his government and said: “I know my strength. My government is stable.”
In the State Legislative Assembly, the BJP has 104 MLAs and enjoys the support of the KPJP and an independent (one seat each). The Congress has 80 MLAs, the JD(S) 37, BSP one and independents two. The BJP needs 10-13 MLAs to form its own government.
Meanwhile, Congress Legislative Party leader Siddaramaiah has called for a CLP meet in Bengaluru on January 18.
Siddaramaiah, who is on tour in Chikmagalur, took on the BJP and said: “People have given the BJP a chance to sit in Opposition, but it is trying to destabilise the duly constituted government by luring the legislators. I have been telling repeatedly that BS Yedurappa’s wishes will not be fulfilled and his dream of becoming Chief Minister will not fulfil.”
He further said though the BJP State President is 77 years old, he has not learnt his lesson in politics.
“It is a shame on the part of the BJP and its leaders, who are trying to capture power through the backdoor,” he said.
Meanwhile, Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister Dr G Parameshwara said: “Our CLP leader Siddaramaiah has called a meeting on Friday. We are all taking part.”