The Karnataka coalition government is into it’s sixth day of conflict and high drama with law-makers from both Congress party and the JD (S) sending in their resignations. The alliance has been rather strained and the coalition came to power , also amidst high drama, with the Congress and JD(S) safeguarding their party members from being drawn into the opponent camp of the BJP, which put up a stiff fight and almost secured power in the state. Ever since, the government has witnessed rocky moments.
The alarming factor of elected governments across the states in the country is that they are often threatened by the lack of solidarity among their own party members. Be it in West Bengal, Maharashtra, Goa or Karnataka – the issue finds resonance in all these states. At least 18 resignations have been submitted to the Karnataka Assembly Speaker, K.R. Ramesh Kumar. Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy on the other hand, appears quite confident despite efforts to destabilize his government.
The Karnataka Assembly meets today. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court is taking up the plea of the rebel law-makers stating that the State Assembly Speaker is sitting on their resignations.The apex court had directed the rebel law-makers to meet the Assembly Speaker at his office. The latter rejected many letters on the grounds that they were were in the ‘wrong format’. The rebel law-makers are holed up in a Mumbai hotel and refused to meet Karnataka Minister K. Shivakumar. They sought police protection, fearing Mr. Shivakumar and the Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy might attempt to ‘try and storm’ their hotel.
The Assembly Speaker has meanwhile approached the Supreme Court requesting for more time to examine the letters to see if the resignations were voluntary or coerced. A Youth Congress leader from Karnataka observed that these mass resignations amounted to defection. He stated that the rebel law-makers were persuaded to resign and were paid huge sums of money.
A Supreme Court decision will now decide if the coalition government stays or goes. The BJP which has claimed it remains absolved from any involvement in the issue said that the government must resign as it has ‘lost it’s moral authority to rule’.