HD Kumaraswamy-led Janata Dal (Secular)-Congress government in Karnataka is again likely to run into rough weather after the BJP legislators disrupted the Governor's inaugural speech. They demanded the termination of the coalition government on Wednesday during the Budget session in the state Assembly.
The legislators from the opposition jumped into the well of the Assembly, asking the government about the whereabouts of the nine missing Congress MLAs.
"Where are the missing legislators? This government has already lost majority vote in the house and hence have no moral standing to continue the government. You do not have sufficient numbers to run the government. Chief Minister should immediately resign," the BJP MLAs asked.
The Congress MLAs, in turn, termed BJPs allegations as "fabricated lies" and dared them to move a no-confidence motion in the house
Consequently, the Karnataka Governor, Vajubhai Rudabhai Vala had to cut short his 22 page long speech, which was later deemed as "read" by the Speaker, KR Ramesh Kumar and distributed among the legislators.
The BJP leaders alleged that the Governor's speech was concocted by the JD(S)-Congress government and is a bundle of lies.
There were attempts earlier by the BJP to topple the government, which senior opposition leader BS Yeddyurappa had dismissed.
"We are not trying to break the government. The reality is that the people are unhappy with the present coalition rule and they have not kept their promises. There are dissidents within the Congress who want to leave the party, but their high command is pressurising them to stay," Yeddyurappa told reporters after the first day of the session.
Karnataka coalition govt holds key to JD(S)-Congress alliance for Lok Sabha polls
A Cabinet reshuffle in December 2018 which saw the ouster of regional party member R Mahesh had left him upset. Along with Mahesh, independent candidate H Nagesh was also unhappy with the government as he was not inducted into the ministry.
Reportedly, four Congress MLAs - Ramesh Jharkiholi, Mahesh Kumatalli, Umesh Jadhav and B Nagendra - have also missed a Congress meeting that was called by former CM Siddaramaiah over the distribution of portfolios.
"If the missing Congress MLAs miss the Budget session, they will face expulsion from the party," a senior party leader told IANS.
However, the worries of CM Kumaraswamy are far from over if there are not enough with his coalition holding on to the government with 116 seats in the 225 member Assembly - only three seats more than the majority mark of 113.
The rebel Congress MLAs will hold the key to continuity of the coalition rule especially when the JD(S) and Congress are planning to ally for the Lok Sabha elections in May.
JD(S), which has just 37 seats in the Assembly, has put the onus on Congress with 80 lawmakers for the sustenance of the state government.