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BJP leader BS Yeddyurappa (PTI file)
BJP leader BS Yeddyurappa (PTI file)

Opinion | A shaky throne awaits Yeddyurappa

The Congress-JD(S) alliance is unlikely to leave any stone unturned in trying to enlist the support of BJP legislators and stir dissidence in its camp

Bharatiya Janata Party leader B.S. Yeddyurappa is set to take oath as chief minister of Karnataka today. People in the state are heaving a sigh of relief that the political uncertainty of the past several months is finally nearing an end. Governance, they expect, will soon resume. But is that really the case? Given the BJP’s slender majority, at least the way it looks at the moment, Yeddyurappa’s government is unlikely to have an easy ride.

Assembly speaker K.R. Ramesh Kumar has disqualified three legislators, while allowing himself more time to decide on the resignation or disqualification of the other 13 dissident Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) legislators whose withdrawal of support had toppled the H.D. Kumaraswamy government. If more disqualifications are ordered, then Yeddyurappa will have to strive hard to ensure a majority. The assembly strength has already shrunk to 221 following the three disqualifications, which means BJP, which has 105 of its own, will need the support of six more legislators to hit the 111 mark. To be sure, disqualified legislators can always (and most likely will) legally contest any adverse order by the speaker. But since the outcome could go either way, uncertainty is likely to hover over the Yeddyurappa government in the weeks ahead.

If the court upholds the speaker’s decision to disqualify the legislators, then the Yeddyurappa government would have a precarious majority. On the other hand, if the court upholds the legislators’ resignations, then Yeddyurappa would have only a slightly bigger majority, which may not be enough to offer stability. The Congress-JD(S) alliance is unlikely to leave any stone unturned in trying to enlist the support of BJP legislators and stir dissidence in its camp. All this is bad for the state, which needs a government focused on governance, not ensuring its survival.

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