JD(S) chief and Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy lost the crucial Trust Vote in the Karnataka Assembly on Tuesday. Kumaraswamy himself had moved the motion for the Trust Vote on Thursday, as several MLAs from the Congress-JD(S) coalition submitted their resignations to the Speaker, Ramesh Kumar. However, after four full days of debates and delaying tactics in the Assembly, Kumaraswamy lost the trust of the House by seven votes. While Kumaraswamy obtained 99 votes, 105 MLAs voted against him.
Kumaraswamy will now submit his resignation to Governor Vajubhai Vala, and the decks are cleared for the BJP to stake claim to form the next government in the state. Whether the BJP will stake claim or whether the state will now see President’s rule is unclear at this point.
The loss comes after the coalition tried to delay the trust vote in the Karnataka Assembly. However, these efforts received a setback when Governor Vaju Bhai Vala gave two deadlines asking the Chief Minister to prove his majority in the house. With the rebel MLAs showing no signs of returning to the coalition and the Speaker unable to delay the trust vote any further, the only options before Kumaraswamy was to lose the trust vote or resign. He chose the former and lost.
While the Congress and JD(S) had formed a sudden coalition in May 2018 and snatched away BJP leader BS Yeddyurappa's dream of becoming CM again, a year later, things have come a full circle, as Yeddyurappa and the BJP have clearly aided much of the rebellion, though they continue to deny any involvement.
The politics in Karnataka, which has been unravelling since July 6, has seen all ministers in Kumaraswamy’s cabinet resign to make way for rebelling MLAs, but to no avail. Attempts by Congress’ troubleshooter and former minister DK Shivakumar to reach out to the MLAs, who were camped in a Mumbai hotel, also failed, with the leader even being detained by the police. The end of the road, however, came when more MLAs tendered their resignations and the Supreme Court allowing the rebelling legislators to sit out of the Assembly proceedings.
The crisis for the coalition began on July 6 when 12 Congress and JD(S) MLAs submitted their resignations to the Speaker’s office. Just days before that Congress MLA Anand Singh had also tendered his resignation. The disgruntled MLAs accused Kumaraswamy of inefficiency and not taking into confidence the requests put forth by his fellow legislators.
Though the coalition has accused the BJP of orchestrating the rebellion and provided proof to support their allegations, the dissent within the coalition, that had been brewing for months, has eventually lead to its collapse.
With the fall of the Kumaraswamy government, the floor is now open for BS Yeddyurappa to stake claim. Alternatively, he can wait for bye-elections to be completed and then make a move to form the next government. Karnataka remains a state that has seen only four stable governments that completed its term.