Former Karnataka chief minister B.S. Yeddyurappa on Tuesday said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will decide if it wants to move a no-confidence motion against the H.D. Kumaraswamy-led coalition government, whose stability has been in question ever since the Janata Dal (Secular) and Congress came together in May last year.
The statement by Yeddyurappa signals that the BJP is still pursuing efforts to bring down the government ahead of parliamentary elections. Political leaders from both the coalition as well as the opposition say the government’s first task will be to ensure the passage of the upcoming finance bill.
The government on Tuesday issued a whip directing all its legislators to attend a joint session of the legislature scheduled on Wednesday. The whip, issued two days before Kumaraswamy is scheduled to present the budget, also directs all coalition legislators to be present from start to finish of every session to ensure that the government can show its majority if the BJP decides to test the coalition.
The coalition remains confident of keeping its flock together despite accusing the BJP of trying to poach its legislators in return for monetary benefits and promises of ministerial berths. Though Kumaraswamy of the JD(S) remains calm about this issue, the Congress does have serious problems when it comes to keeping its legislators from defecting.
Four Congress legislators, who were suspected to be planning to deflect to the BJP, have sent individual letters swearing allegiance to the party but are still not considered to be back within the party fold. J.N. Ganesh, the legislator from Kampli, is still absconding after he allegedly beat up his party colleague Vijayanagara MLA Anand Singh in a resort last month. Singh was discharged from hospital only a day ago. The BJP has 104 members, while the coalition has 118 (the Congress has 80, including the Speaker, the JD(S) 37 and BSP one. Meanwhile, Congress strongman D.K. Shivakumar has been asked to appear in person for a case relating to the Enforcement Directorate in Delhi on Friday, though he is likely to seek an exemption.