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Last Updated : Jul 23, 2019 01:47 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Karnataka political crisis: Possible scenarios and what could happen next

Voting in the floor test has not been taken up even after three days of debate, with the fate of the Kumaraswamy-led Congress-JD(S) coalition government continuing to hang in balance


There seems to be no end to the political impasse in Karnataka. The Karnataka Legislative Assembly was adjourned till July 23 without a trust vote being held on July 22 after the House witnessed ruckus by Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) Members of Legislative (MLAs).

They were insisting on a vote after the Supreme Court’s ruling in the matter. The apex court is expected to hear the matter on July 23.

Voting on the confidence motion moved by Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy has not been taken up even after three days of debate.

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How the numbers stack up

The fate of the Kumaraswamy-led Congress-JD(S) coalition government continues to hang in balance. Their strength is 117 -- Congress 78, JD(S) 37, BSP 1 and nominated 1, besides the Speaker.

With the support of two independents, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has 107 MLAs in the 225-member House (including nominated MLAs and Speaker).

If the Speaker accepts the resignations of the 15 MLAs (12 from Congress and three from JD(S)), or if they remain absent during voting, the ruling coalition's tally will fall to 101. That would mean the government is in minority and would lose the floor test.

Here are the possible scenarios and what could happen next:

Government falls after a trust vote: If the rebel MLAs do not return, the Congress-JD(S) will almost certainly lose the floor test and the coalition government would collapse. The BJP has 105 MLAs in the Assembly. With the support of two Independent MLAs, it would win the floor test.

With those numbers, we could see BJP state unit chief and former Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa meet Governor Vajubhai Vala and stake claim to form the government.

Coalition government stays afloat: Most political observers may suggest this to be the most unlikely scenario. However, if significant number of rebel MLAs have a change of heart and reach the Assembly in time for the floor test, the Kumaraswamy-led government could stay afloat. If Congress-JD(S) wins the floor test, they will not face another trust vote for the next six months.

Kumaraswamy resigns ahead of the floor test: It is widely believed that the Congress-JD(S) government does not command a majority in the Assembly after rebel MLAs and independents pulled out. Sensing that he will possibly lose the trust vote, Kumaraswamy may resign. He could go to the Governor and submit his resignation. There were reports on July 22 that he might do so.

Yeddyurappa had done this in May 2018 when he was asked to prove his majority on the floor of the House after the Assembly election.

Governor invites BS Yeddyurappa to form the government: The BJP now claims to command the support of its own 105 MLAs and two independents – more than the Congress-JD(S) combine. Hence, the Governor could invite BJP to form the government in an event where Kumaraswamy steps down or loses the trust vote.

President’s Rule: Karnataka is witnessing severe political crisis. If the Governor feels that the situation could continue in the coming weeks and months, he might invoke President’s Rule. This could be based on alleged horse-trading. The state has seen President’s Rule at least six times.

If this happens, Karnataka will head for Assembly elections in the next six months. The election could happen simultaneous with state polls scheduled in neighbouring Maharashtra, possibly in October or along with Jharkhand (possibly in December).

(With inputs from PTI)

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First Published on Jul 23, 2019 09:58 am
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