Fourteen months ago, the BJP’s government in Karnataka collapsed within three days as Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa resigned without facing a trust vote. On Tuesday night, its successor, the Congress-JD(S) coalition led by H D Kumaraswamy, lost the trust vote 99-105, returning the spotlight to the BJP.
The BJP legislature party will meet Wednesday before its MLAs go to Governor Vajubhai Vala to stake claim. “The BJP is a natural claimant with majority on its side in the House of which the strength is reduced now. We will be looking to take the responsibility and we will be following the directions of our national president and parliamentary board,” P Muralidhar Rao, BJP general secretary in charge of Karnataka, told The Indian Express.
Yeddyurappa is expected to come to Delhi after meeting the Governor to hold discussions with top leaders of the party. If he is to become Chief Minister, the BJP national leadership will have to deal with several other issues including some within the party. The majority is wafer-thin, with help of rebels from the Opposition. And the leadership will also have to balance internal equations, especially with former Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar, former Deputy CMs K S Eshwarappa and R Ashoka.
There is also the issue of the Speaker, currently from the Congress. The party has to decide on the Speaker as the post is crucial in the backdrop of confusion on the fate of rebel MLAs and the thin majority. The composition of the government may be used by the party as an opportunity to create a successor for Yeddyurappa in the long term.
Going to the Governor with the required number of support in the assembly would be a logical conclusion of Yeddyurappa’s persistence, patience and numerous attempts to return to power. At 76, he has crossed BJP’s unwritten retirement age of 75.
Despite the publicly known differences with some top leaders in the party, the BJP may have to accept Yeddyurappa as its chief ministerial candidate when the party goes to stake claim. The party has made it clear that it will form the government in the state.
Rao also gave enough signals it would be Yeddyurappa even as he stressed that the apex decision making body, the party parliamentary board, will take a final decision.
“We have B S Yeddyurappa as the leader of our party and we had sought the mandate under his leadership. Taking all factors into consideration, the leadership will take a decision,” he said.