The coalition government in Karnataka is on the verge of collapse. It might collapse any time from now as the legislators from the two coalition partners are quitting their posts. About 11 Congress MLAs and 3 Janata Dal (Secular) MLAs have submitted their resignation. There is a reason for the Congress MLAs to quit as they are not in power despite having more seats. The Congress, in an electoral strategy had given the chief minister office to the Janata Dal (Secular) to keep the Bharatiya Janata Party out of power. Though the BJP had emerged as the single largest party and its leader B S Yeddyurappa was sworn-in as chief minister a year ago, the Congress played its master card by offering the chief minister post to the junior partner, JD(S), which had won just 37 seats in the 224-member Assembly.
The BJP had won 104 seats, while the Congress bagged 80 seats. There were three others, including one independent and one BSP MLA in the House. With 104 seats, the BJP was falling short of the simple majority of 113 MLAs. However, it had formed the government with Yeddyurappa as the chief minister. The Congress, soon came out with an open offer to the JD (S), giving the chief minister post. This offer had lured the JD (S), which was about to fall in the trap of the BJP. The JD (S) and the Congress together have scored big numbers in the House making a total of 117, five seats more than the required simple majority and H D Kumaraswamy sworn in Chief minister.
The Congress-JD (S) coalition had become the news of the nation with the non-BJP parties coming together here. The swearing-in of H D Kumaraswamy in June last year, was the venue for the opposition parties to rally together. But, it did not work either in Karnataka or in the rest of the country. The opposition unity, as desired, could not become a realty at the national level and the Congress could not stich the non-BJP parties together.
In Karnataka, the Congress MLAs are not happy with the smaller party, the JD(S), holding the chief minister office, while they are at the mercy of H D Kumaraswamy. The Siddharamaiah’s loyalists too were not happy with their leader sitting at home. This could be the reason for the Congress MLAs to quit in protest.
But, what makes every observer is the JD(S) MLAs too quitting. Some say it is the political engineering of the BJP, which is going all out to destabilise the non-BJP governments. The BJP is attracting the MLAs to unseat the government so that it can take over the reins. This is what is called Modi-Shah game. It is to be seen if this game works for the saffron party in the south to be in the hot seat.