Chief ministers and Opposition leaders of South Indian states have been extending support to the Janata Dal (Secular) and Congress MLAs in Karnataka, while tussles over government formation continue even after BJP’S BS Yeddyurappa was sworn in as chief minister. The Congress and JD(S) have jointly approached the Supreme Court of India saying they have the requisite number of MLAs to form the government; the apex court is presently seized of the matter.
With the BJP having only 104 MLAs, it somehow needs to come up with another 8 to reach the required magic figure of 112, to prove its majority in the assembly. There are various tricks than can be pulled in order to do so, including suspending some Congress or JD(S) MLAs on some ground, inviting a Congress or JDS MLA to be pro-tem speaker, thus reducing their votes by 1, not to mention inducements to MLAs, and so on. In this scenario, both Congress and JD(S) have been sheltering their MLAs in Bengaluru resorts.
Now, CNN News18 has reported that the Left parties in Kerala have assured Congress MLAs of security and Andhra Pradesh and Telangana chief ministers N Chandrababu Naidu and K Chandrasekar Rao, respectively, have offered shelter to JD(S) MLAs. The Congress may thus move its camp to Kerala and JD(S) to Visakhapatnam or Hyderabad soon.
It can be recalled that Telugu Desam Party chief Naidu had asked Telugu-speaking voters in Karnataka to defeat the BJP. His deputy Chief Minister had even campaigned among Telugu people in the state, asking them to vote for anyone but BJP. The TDP quit the NDA earlier this year, saying the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi had failed to fulfill their promises on granting special category status to Andhra Pradesh.
Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao had supported HD Deve Gowda’s JD(S)-BSP alliance in the Karnataka polls.
India Today also reported that Naidu and KCR extended support to the JDS-Congress alliance.
Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan had tweeted on Wednesday night, “Today is a sad day for Karnataka and a sadder day for Indian democracy. Governors who allow themselves to be playthings of the Centre are undermining positions they hold. There must be a judicial review of Karnataka governor’s decision to invite BJP to form the government. His decision is a green signal for horse trading and a naked capitulation of democratic values. That BJP announced the governor’s decision first is proof of the systemic rot under this rightwing rule.”
On Thursday, DMK Working President MK Stalin, head of the main Opposition party in Tamil Nadu, tweeted saying “The Karnataka Governor's hasty invitation to the BJP to form Government despite the majority of MLAs forming a post-poll alliance of INC-JD(S)-BSP is arbitrary & unconstitutional. Such a move will only serve to enable horse-trading and destroy our democratic foundations. People of Tamil Nadu are familiar with the BJP's efforts to protect the corrupt ADMK Government, which also incidentally does not enjoy the majority support in the Legislative Assembly. Constitutional institutions and principles are under threat from these actions.”