The Karnataka political crisis seems to be a good opportunity for Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Siddaramaiah to grab the chief minister's seat as a majority of the rebels have sided with him on taking lead in the state.
Even though Mallikarjun Kharge's name was raised for the CM post during the initial stages of the political drama, the rebel MLAs have sided with Siddaramaiah, who still stands as the kingmaker of Congress.
With the resignation of 14 rebel MLAs, the coalition is in a tough turf as the plot seems to be against the JD(S) leadership. Of the 14, ST Somashekar, Byrathi Basavaraj and Munirathna are some of the most trusted loyalists of Siddaramaiah and their resignation has jolted the party.
The three had also initiated a movement against the Kumaraswamy government by launching a campaign ahead of the Lok Sabha polls in support of Siddaramaiah as the next CM of the state.
Many of Siddaramaiah's loyalists had also reportedly expressed their willingness to withdraw their resignation if Congress got the CM post. On Saturday, Congress strongman DK Shivakumar had reportedly said that if the situation arises, Mallikarjun Kharge would be made the next CM.
However, Kharge chose to stay out of the ministerial race after holding talks with the All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary in-charge of Karnataka, KC Venugopal, on Sunday. The discussions were held with Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) working president Eshwar Khandre, Siddaramaiah, Kharge, ministers MB Patil and DK Shivakumar, and MP DK Suresh to save the coalition.
With these developments, the JD(S) will also have to co-operate with Congress in making Siddaramaiah the next CM. JD(S) leader GT Devegowda said, "If the coordination committee decides that Siddaramaiah should be the CM, we have no objection." He added that Congress is making efforts to save the government from collapsing which is already a minority.
BJP leader and union minister Prahlad Joshi termed the crisis as an unholy alliance. He said that Siddaramaiah is behind the unstable government and the political drama aims to oust CM HD Kumaraswamy. BJP stated that it has no role in the resignation spree or the unstable government.
Even though the coalition is shattered in the state, Congress has claimed that the government is safe and stable. The party is also confident of the coalition completing its term.