Karnataka: 14 MLAs’ Resignations Acknowledged
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With the report of 14 MLAs resigning the burning question now is, will the Congress-Janata Dal Secular [JD(S)] government of Karnataka survive. According to regional Kannada media reports, nine MLAs of the Congress and three MLAs of the JD(S) have submitted their resignation to the Speaker Ramesh Kumar. However, the Speaker has said that the decision would be made on Monday, July 8. H Vishwanath, Narayan Gowda, Gopalia of the JD(S) and Mahesh Kumthalli, BC Patil, Ramesh Jarkiholi, Shivaram Hebbar, ST Somashekar, Muniratna, Pratap Gowda and Byrathi Basavaraj of Congress are among the MLAs who have submitted their resignation.
These resignations follow the resignation of Anand Singh of Congress on Monday. Most of the above mentioned MLAs were not happy with either the portfolios given to them, or as in the case of the Congress MLAs, wanted Siddaramaiah as the Chief Minister and not H D Kumaraswamy. Somashekar, Basavaraj and Shivaram have demanded that Siddaramaiah be made CM, in which case along with Muniratna, they would withdraw their resignations.
In the state Assembly elections held on May 12, 2018, none of the political parties got a full mandate and BJP emerged as the single largest party with 105 MLAs, while Congress got 78 seats, JD(S) 37 seats and 1 seat each was bagged by Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Karnataka Pragnyavantha Janatha Party (KPJP). On May 15, 2018, the Congress and the JD(S), who fought against each other in the Assembly elections decided to come together and form the government citing that it is important to keep the BJP out of the state politics.
Including the Speaker, the Karnataka Legislative Assembly has 225 members. Out of the total strength of 224, the ‘magic number’ is 113. As explained above Congress and JD(S) formed a post poll coalition, shooting up the aggregate to 115, and along with a BSP, an independent candidate, and a nominated member, the strength of the coalition stood at 118. On the other hand, BJP has total of 105 seats and one from the KPJP making an aggregate of 106.
What happens if the resignations go through?
If there are 14 members resigning, then the total strength of the house will be 210 and excluding the Speaker it will be 209. The “magic number” then will be 105. BJP already has 106 MLAs. If all the 14 MLAs’ resignations go through then the total strength of the coalition will be 104 and the government will fall. There are several media reports that say the BJP is planning the instrumentalise two or more of the MLAs of Congress or JD(S) that would make it easy for the BJP to stake its claim to form the government. Prajavani, a Kannada daily, has reported the possibility of nine other MLAs resigning. However, as NewsClick has been reporting, the Bharatiya Janata Party’s role is an evident causal factor of this crisis. With the green signal from the BJP leadership, the local Karnataka leaders were reported to be instrumental behind these resignations; in fact B S Yeddyurappa, BJP state president has been saying eight MLAs of the Congress were in touch with the party.
This is a developing story.
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