Bengaluru: Since last Saturday, when 13 legislators of the coalition government submitted their resignations to Speaker Mr K.R. Ramesh Kumar, JD(S) supremo Mr H D Deve Gowda has been exploring multiple options to save the government.
This includes giving the Congress the option of appointing their leader as CM-maybe Mr Siddaramaiah- and in an extreme situation, resort to a mass resignation of all Congress and JD(S) MLAs, pushing the House itself into a minority.
Sources said that soon after AICC General Secretary Mr Ghulam Nabi Azad arrived in Bengaluru, Mr Gowda asked him to do whatever was possible to save the government at least till the assembly elections in Maharashtra later this year. As a last resort, he assured the Congress leader that he would not hesitate to back Mr Siddaramaiah if the former CM could convince his supporters, who have resigned, to withdraw their resignations.
Mr Gowda also came up with another idea, said sources. If the Speaker accepted all the resignations including those of the three members who resigned after Saturday, Congress and JD(S) legislators could resign en masse. This would leave the House with only 108 members- much below the half way mark in the state assembly. It would also stop the BJP's bid to seize power and force the governor to dissolve the Assembly and impose President's rule.
There is however a problem with this idea. The BJP already has 107 members and would require the backing of only six more members to ensure the House remains. There are many more ruling coalition legislators who are silently backing the BJP and would not like the House to be dissolved at this juncture. Even the lone BSP member Mr Mahesh is unlikely to resign.
In such a situation, if the Congress and JD(S) members quit and the House is not dissolved, there would be by-elections to over 110 Assembly constituencies, which would put the coalition partners in an awkward situation and so the idea was dropped, sources said. Right now, Mr Kumaraswamy is putting a brave front by refusing to resign but most leaders in the JD(S) know that the situation is out of their hands. Some in the party contend that the CM wants to make an emotional speech before leaving office if it comes to that. Whether he will wait till the BJP moves the no-confidence motion or decide to step down after the finance bill is passed in the House on Friday, is a secret known only to the Gowda family....