Editorial: Karnataka crisis

Eleven MLAs of the ruling coalition in Karnataka submitted their resignation to the office of Assembly Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar Saturday. If the resignations of the eight Congress legislators and three Janata Dal (Secular) MLAs are accepted, the coalition would be left with the support of 107 members – just enough to maintain a majority. The Bharatiya Janata Party has 105 MLAs. With reports claiming that some more legislators would tender their resignation today, the ball is in the court of the Speaker and the Governor.

The Congress has accused the BJP of hatching a conspiracy to topple the party’s coalition government with the JD(S) in Karnataka. However, the BJP has vehemently denied the charge. Former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, former Union minister Mallikarjun Kharge and Karnataka Water Resource Minister D K Shivakumar reiterated their charge Sunday that the BJP was behind the current political turmoil in Karnataka. But, the BJP has been maintaining that it has nothing to do with it and the rebellion is a fallout of the squabbling between the two ruling coalition partners.

Both the JD(S) and Congress have been plagued by dissension over allocation of ministerial berths and distribution of Lok Sabha poll tickets. The cracks became wider after the BJP swept the parliamentary election in the State. The troubled ruling coalition, which has 118 MLAs in the 224-member Assembly, faces the risk of losing its majority in the House if the resignations are accepted. All eyes are on the Raj Bhavan and Vidhana Soudha and it is everyone’s hope that democracy and Constitution would be protected.

NT Bureau