Bengaluru: The churning in Karnataka politics which was expected to reach a climax on Tuesday on Makara Sankranti day, may fizzle out for now with the disgruntled group of Congress MLAs led by former minister Ramesh Jarkiholi, reportedly unable to take their strength to 15 or 16-the number the BJP is looking for before making a serious bid to topple the coalition government.
The ruling JD(S)-Congress coalition has a strength of 120 in the 224-member Assembly while the BJP has 104 MLAs. The saffron party is looking to wean away a good chunk of legislators from the Congress so that the coalition stands no chance of surviving a no-confidence vote.
Sources in the “rebel” Congress group told Deccan Chronicle that the coup in the making had been hit by a major hitch. Many of the dissident MLAs barring three or four, are reluctant to resign from the Assembly which is necessary if they decide to jump ship and join the BJP. This is because they are unsure of winning their seats again as BJP candidates, as they had defeated BJP leaders in May 2018, who may try to wreck their poll prospects if they shift to the BJP.
BJP leader Laxman Savadi is a case in point. He was defeated by Mahesh Kumathalli of the Congress in Athani and is sure to face a Savadi backlash in Athani, if he joins the BJP and contests on that party's ticket. Many other Congress legislators who do not mind crossing over, are facing similar problems in their constituencies and are therefore in two minds whether to resign.
To find a middle path, these Congress MLAs have reportedly assured the BJP that if a no-confidence motion is moved by the opposition party against the coalition government in the Assembly, they will stay away from voting which will help the BJP get the motion through and fell the government. But the BJP, after suffering the embarrassment of losing power after a day in office in May last year, is in no mood to cross the brink unless they are doubly sure that they have all the loose ends tied up....