Editorial: Change of guard

Karnataka politics has seen lots of twists and turns in the past few days. Losing the trust vote, JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy resigned as Chief Minister.

Within a couple of days, BJP’s Yediyurappa was sworn in Chief Minister and gets ready to face the floor test.

This is Yediyurappa’s fourth stint as Chief Minister of Karnataka and second in the current Assembly. He had taken oath as the Chief Minister in May 2018 after the BJP emerged as the single-largest party in the State polls.

His fourth stint has come in the backdrop of a huge defection drama, for which the Congress-JD(S) coalition blamed Yediyurappa earlier this month. Eighteen of the MLAs, including two Independents, withdrew support to the Kumaraswamy government. This made the Congress-JD(S) alliance a minority in the Karnataka Assembly.

The strength of the BJP is 105 and it is the single largest party in the Assembly of 224 MLAs. It also enjoys the declared support of one Independent MLA. With three MLAs disqualified, the total strength of the legislature has come down to 221. The official majority mark is 112.

The coming days will be interesting in Karnataka politics. The JD(S) will leave no stones unturned in pulling down the government. And a good show in the recently-concluded local body elections in Karnataka will embolden the Congress to face the people again. The big questions is, what will Yediyurappa do?