Lok Sabha results to decide fate of Karnataka's coalition

File photo of BS Yeddyurappa, HD Kumaraswamy and Siddaramaiah. Photograph:( Others )

WION Karnataka, India Apr 25, 2019, 08.38 PM (IST) Nischita Verrendra

Trouble is brewing again for the coalition government in the South Indian state of Karnataka as another MLA has assured he will be resigning from the Congress party over differences.

Ramesh Jarkiholi, the MLA from Gokak constituency, and the leader who led the rebellion in January this year has said he will soon be quitting the Congress. Ramesh was also seen campaigning for the BJP in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections.

'I have not quit the Congress, but will be doing it soon. I will contest from Yemkanmardi seat in the next assembly elections. When Ramesh Katti had rebelled against the BJP, Yeddyurappa immediately reached out to pacify him. No one from the Congress has reached out to me' said Ramesh while speaking in Bengaluru. 

The statement comes days after BJP State Chief BS Yeddyurappa had expressed confidence that the coalition government will crumble after the Lok Sabha elections.

While there is no clear figure on how many rebel MLAs are with Ramesh Jarkiholi, sources within the BJP claim that the figure is enough to topple the HD Kumaraswamy government.

Satish Jarkiholi, Ramesh's brother, who replaced him in the state cabinet, has thrown an open challenge to the dissenting MLA.

'He has been threatening to quit for a year. We do not know why he is disgruntled. He might ask the BJP to give him a ticket and make him a minister. We are waiting for the speaker to take the decision on the disqualification of dissenting MLAs' said Satish Jarkiholi. 

The Congress currently has 78 MLAs after the demise of CH Shivalli and resignation of Umesh Jadhav. Along with the JD(S) and one independent the coalition government has 116 MLAs in a 225 member house. If Ramesh Jarkiholi exits with 4 other MLAs as claimed, then the house strength comes down along with the number of the coalition government.

However, the Kumaraswamy government can still function as a minority government if it can get more votes in its favour than against. 

BJP is also banking on the two by-elections to be held on May 19 in Chincholi and Kundgol. Also, if sitting MLAs Eshwar Khandre and Krishna Byre Gowda manage to win Lok Sabha elections, two more constituencies will go for by-polls in the state. If the saffron party manages to win all four seats, then along with the support of one independent it will have 109 MLAs on its side.

Another fear for the coalition government will be the outcomes of elections in Mandya and Tumkur, where HD Kumaraswamy's son Nikhil and HD Deve Gowda are contesting elections amidst rebellion within the Congress cadres.

If the Congress fails to transfer votes to the JD(S) in these crucial constituencies, the rift within the coalition will only get deeper.

'The results of the elections will clearly be an indication on whether this government will continue or not. There could be a threat to the state government if the BJP succeeds in Karnataka and at the national level. Big question marks will then rise on the state government. If the Congress-JD(S) do not do well in Karnataka, there are serious questions going to be raised. If they do well in the state, but BJP does well in the national level, they might survive but there will be constant hiccups.' says Sandeep Shastri, Political Analyst. 

All eyes are now on Lok Sabha election results on May 23 that could not only decide the fate of the nation, but also the Karnataka state coalition government. If the situation arrives and the government fails to prove majority on the floor of the house, BS Yeddyurappa might prefer to go for fresh elections in the South Indian state. 

 

Story highlights

All eyes are now on Lok Sabha election results on May 23 that could not only decide the fate of the nation, but also the Karnataka state coalition government. If the situation arrives and the government fails to prove majority on the floor of the house, BS Yeddyurappa might prefer to go for fresh elections in the South Indian state.