Explained: Why BJP high command is treading cautiously on government formation in Karnataka

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Updated: Jul 25, 2019 1:59 PM

The BJP high command is believed to have asked Yeddyurappa to wait for the Supreme Court's ruling in the matter and Speaker's decision on rebel Congress and JD(S) MLAs whose resignation from the House triggered the crisis.

Any decision taken by Speaker Ramesh Kumar, who is a Congress candidate, will have bearing on the formation of the next government. As long as the rebel MLAs remain members of the House, the BJP will not have a clear majority.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) doesn’t seem to be in a hurry to stake claim to form the next government in Karnataka. The saffron party’s leadership is gauging what impact it will have if a go ahead is given to its strongman BS Yeddyurappa before Speaker Ramesh Kumar decides the fate of the rebel Congress-JD(S) MLAs and the Supreme Court passed an order on the matter.

After the 14-month-old Congress-JD(S) coalition government collapsed on Tuesday night, ending the three-week political uncertainty in the state, it was likely that Karnataka BJP president BS Yeddyurappa will meet Governor Vajubhai Vala on Wednesday to stake claim to form the government. However, the party’s central leadership flagged red light at the eleventh hour and asked him to adopt the wait and watch approach.

The BJP high command is believed to have asked Yeddyurappa to wait for the Supreme Court’s ruling in the matter and Speaker’s decision on rebel Congress and JD(S) MLAs whose resignation from the House triggered the crisis.

On Wednesday, the BJP legislature party was slated to meet in Bengaluru at 11 am. When the three-time CM left his house, it was likely that he will attend the meeting but he headed to the RSS office to meet Sangh leaders and thanked them for their contribution in the journey so far.

There were reports doing the rounds that BSY even met a few priests at his residence to decide the time for the swearing-in. However, the central leadership asked him to put all he plans on hold and wait for further instructions.

Sources told PTI that the party will make next move after Speaker Ramesh Kumar takes a decision or the Supreme Court brings a legal closure to the issue of rebel MLAs. There is also a view that the party should press for fresh polls in the state to seek a clear majority. However, the report said, many leaders feel that it should go ahead and form the government for the remaining 3.5 years of the 15th Assembly.

Any decision taken by Speaker Ramesh Kumar, who is a Congress candidate, on the rebel MLAs will have bearing on the formation of the next government. As long as the rebel MLAs remain members of the House, the BJP will not have a clear majority.

If the rebel MLAs are disqualified by the Speaker, fresh elections will be held, giving an opportunity for the BJP to go beyond the halfway mark of 113 in the 225-member House. The BJP has 105 MLAs in the current Assembly and enjoys the support of two independent MLAs, taking its tally ti 107. If the rebel MLAs remain members of the House, a few BJP leaders feel that rushing to form the next government will not be wise as they could be persuaded by their respective parties.

The HD Kumaraswamy government fell on Tuesday after it lost the confidence vote inside the Vidhan Soudha. While the coalition secured 99 votes, 105 voted against the trust motion. A total of 20 MLAs skipped the proceedings — Congress (14), JD-S (3), BSP (1), Independents (2), reducing the effective strength to 205. The coalition needed 103 votes in its favour to win the motion.

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