Bengaluru: Unable to come up with the numbers to unseat the eight month-old Congress-JD (S) coalition, top central leaders of BJP have evidently shelved their ploy - albeit temporarily - of deploying the miffed former minister Ramesh Jarkiholi to marshal at least 16 MLAs to trigger a collapse of the government headed by Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy.
Soon after he was forced to make way for his younger sibling Satish Jarkiholi, Mr Ramesh Jarkiholi remained incommunicado, triggering speculation that he would garner the support of more than a dozen Congress legislators to destabilize the government at the behest of top BJP leaders. These leaders reportedly took a stand that a minimum of 16 MLAs should quit to bring down the strength of the Assembly to 208 from its full strength of 224. Such a dip in the strength of Congress and the House would help the BJP form the government on its own as the party emerged the single largest entity in Assembly polls held in May 2018, winning 104 seats, according to sources in BJP.
Sources said Ramesh Jarkiholi reportedly secured 'active support' of six or seven MLAs and 'in-principle support' of another five legislators. He, however, could not muster the numbers sought by these leaders, forcing them to shelve plans of installing their government. The upshot: the former minister reportedly returned to Gokak on Tuesday evening and left for an undisclosed destination on Wednesday morning.
Meanwhile, state BJP president and Opposition leader in the Assembly, B.S. Yeddyurappa, left on Wednesday for a four day tour of Shivamogga. Ahead of his departure, he told the media that his party did not make any efforts to bring down the government, hinting at a failed mission, sources added.