Scenario 1: 3.5 more years for CM BSY
The BJP needs at least six seats to save its four-month-old government (it has the support of independent Mulbagal MLA and excise minister H Nagesh). If it scores less than six, then the Congress and JD(S) will swing back into the power play, attempting one more inning of a coalition government.
Scenario 2: JD(S) emerge as the kingmaker
The opposition parties, especially the JD(S), are hoping to limit the BJP to less than five seats. This could pave the way for a new alliance with the JD(S) emerging kingmaker. The regional party could either support the BJP, or it could forge another alliance with the Congress.
Scenario 3: Presidents rule
Conversely, if the BJP does not win the required six seats, it could lead to more political uncertainty, fueled by a spate of resignations by disgruntled legislators from the JD(S) and the Congress. JD(S), led by former CM HD Kumaraswamy, could lend outside support or become part of a BJP-led coalition. On the other hand, the central BJP leadership may refuse the offer of support from the JD(S) and instead impose Presidents rule. Result: Fresh polls before 2023.
Why are byelections being held?
The byelections were necessitated due to the disqualification of the 17 — 14 Congress and three JD(S) rebel legislators — after they resigned from their assembly seats in July in protest against the former coalition government's poor functioning. The coalition government of JD(S) and Congress was led by HD Kumaraswamy. The Supreme Court on November 13 upheld the disqualification of all the 17 legislators by previous assembly speaker KR Ramesh Kumar but allowed them to re-contest the byelections.
The resignation of 14 MLAs from Congress and 3 from the JD(S) in July had led to the fall of the 14-month-old JD(S)-Congress government and paved the way for the BJP to take power. With the disqualification of the 17 MLAs, the assembly strength was reduced from 225 to 208. With 15 seats going to polls, the current Karnataka assembly strength is 222 (excluding the nominated member). Bypolls in two seats — Muski (Raichur district) and RR Nagar (Bengaluru) — have been withheld due to litigation in the Karnataka high court over their results in the May 2018 state assembly elections.
The disqualified MLAs
The bigger question, though, is how many of the 13 disqualified MLAs, who contested on BJP tickets, would be made ministers if Yediyurappas government survives. BJP state president Nalin Kumar Kateel categorically said only those who win would be made ministers.
The fate of two disqualified MLAs will continue to be in limbo as elections were not held in two vacant segments — Rajarajeshwari Nagar and Maski — due to legal battles in the high court over the 2018 results.
BJP and Congress both confident of victory
Yediyurappa confidently said that BJP will win at least 13 seats and he would lead a stable government for the next three-and-a-half years.
Reacting to BSYs comment, Congress legislator DK Shivakumar sarcastically said the BJP might win all 15 seats. “I dont know why Yediyurappa left two seats for the opposition parties,” he said.
Yediyurappa was on July 26 sworn in as chief minister of Karnataka after a high political drama in the state. Yediyurappa, who became CM for the fourth time, has never completed a full term. Apart from last year's two-day stint, he also holds the record of leading a coalition government for the least number of dRead More – Source
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