After days of drama, closed-door negotiations and unsuccessful attempts to pacify rebelling MLAs, Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy submitted his resignation to the Governor, about an hour after he lost the Trust Vote in the Assembly. With this, the 13-month-old JD(S)-Congress government in the state has officially come to end.
"I hereby tender my resignation to the post of Chief Minister of Karnataka along with my Cabinet and request you to kindly accept the same. I take this opportunity to extend my grateful thanks for the cooperation given to me and my colleagues during my tenure," Kumaraswamy said in his letter.
The Governor accepted his resignation and asked him to continue as caretaker CM until further notice.
Kumaraswamyâ€™s resignation comes after the coalition lost the Trust Vote moved by the former CM himself in the state Assembly. Kumaraswamy managed to get just 99 votes, versus 105 against him. The coalition's multiple efforts to stall the Trust Vote and bring back the rebel MLAs to their fold ended in the embarassing defeat on the floor of the House on Tuesday evening. With the rebel MLAs showing no signs of returning to the coalition and the Speaker unable to delay the trust vote any further, Tuesday evening saw Kumaraswamy going over to the Raj Bhavan around 8.30 pm and giving in his resignation.
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 Kumaraswamyâ€™s cabinet resign to make way for rebelling MLAs, but to no avail. Attempts by Congressâ€™ 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 Speakerâ€™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.