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Karnataka: Four from Congress may resign, but BJP’s dream still a far cry

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Bengaluru, Jan 15: The drama in Karnataka will continue in Karnataka for a couple of days more. The resignation of two independent MLAs gave a minor jolt to the JD(S)-Congress coalition, but for the BJP to install its government the task ahead is huge.

Karnataka: Four from Congress may resign, but BJP’s dream still a far cry

In the 224 member assembly, the Congress has 80 MLAs and the JD(S), 37. One BSP MLA and two independents also constituted the coalition. The BJP, on the other hand, has 104 MLAs. In order to bring the government down, at least 14 MLAs will need to resign to bring the house strength down to ensure that the BJP forms the government.
Sources say that the BJP central and state leadership are not on the same page on this issue.

The Central leadership wants the BJP to prepare for the 2019 leadership. However, in the state level, BS Yeddyurappa would want his government installed before fighting the 2019 elections.

Karnataka coalition shaky: Two independents withdraw support

However, going by the numbers, it appears to be a very difficult task for the BJP. Sources tell OneIndia that four disgruntled Congress MLAs are likely to resign by tomorrow. However one of the independent MLAs who quit today is likely to return. This means that the BJP would need to enforce the resignation of at least 11 more MLAs in order to form the government.

Following the resignations, Kumaraswamy said that he is as relaxed as ever. The Congress JD(S) has indicated that if the BJP tries to ruffle its feathers, then they will poach five from the saffron party. The BJP it may be recalled had moved its MLAs to a resort in Gurgaon.

Karnataka: CM Kumaraswamy 'relaxed' as 2 exits jolt Congress-JD(S) coalition

Yeddyurappa had said that the intention behind the move was to avoid poaching by the Congress and JD(S). However, others point out that the MLAs were summoned for a meeting with Central leadership to prepare for the polls. While it was said that the BJP legislators from Karnataka would meet with Amit Shah, the meeting never took place.
When asked if the meeting would take place tomorrow, sources said that it was highly unlikely. The legislators are expected to return by Thursday.

On the other hand, Congress strongman, D K Shivakumar would make a final attempt to pacify the five Congress MLAs believed to be in Mumbai. Shivakumar would be on an official visit and would attend a programme at Aurangabad before which he is likely to meet the MLAs.

The disgruntled MLAs have been sulking after being left out of the Cabinet. A source said that Shivakumar would try and pacify them and if nothing works out then he would use a couple of tricks that he has up his sleeve. The source said that four Congress ministers have been told to step down in case the five MLAs are not pacified. However, it is not clear if the five MLAs would bite the bait. Four of them are unlikely to stay on in the Congress and could resign if talks with Shivakumar fail.

Even if the four resign, then the road ahead is tough for the BJP as the numbers are not in its favour. The BJP, on the other hand, is hoping that the resignations continue over the next couple of days. This would make the government shaky and then a recommendation could be made to keep the House under suspended animation until the 2019 Lok Sabha elections are over.

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