The ‘nataka’ in Karnataka ended on Tuesday with the collapse of 14-month old Congress-Janata Dal (secular) coalition government after Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy, son of former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda, led alliance lost a vote of confidence in the Assembly. With the development, the stage is all set for the BJP to return to power in the Southern state. After losing the trust vote, Kumaraswamy submitted his resignation to Governor Vajubhai Vala. Accepting his resignation with immediate effect, the Governor asked Kumaraswamy to take care of the position until an alternative arrangements are made.
The three-week drama was power-packed with resignations by rebel lawmakers making it difficult for the government to survive. Talking about the confidence motion was defeated with 99 votes for the alliance and 105 against it in a House of 225. The strength was reduced to 205 with 20 MLAs skipping the proceedings. These 20 MLAs include 17 from Congress-JDS, two independents and one from the BSP. The number to win the trust vote for Kumaraswamy was 103.
The BJP dubbed the outcome as ‘Game of Karma’. While BJP leader BS Yeddyurappa hoping to become the chief minister for the fourth time, described ‘victory for democracy’.
Kumaraswamy’s second stint as Chief Minister of Karnataka began in May 2018 and ended on July 2019.
In fact, Kumaraswamy’s first stint as chief minister in the BJP-led coalition government lasted less than two years from February 2006 to October 2007.
The government collapsed because of his disagreement over power-sharing with the BJP. In 2007, as The Free Press Journal reports,the JD(S) almost handed over power to the BJP by agreeing to make former Deputy CM BS Yediyurappa the CM with Kumaraswamy becoming his deputy. In fact, Yediyurappa was asked to rush to Bengaluru from his anti-JD(S) yatra in Tumkur. But just as the deal was being finalised, Kumaraswamy's elder brother and the then Revenue Minister HD Revanna stormed in and gave a verbal dressing down to the Chief Minister. Insiders say that the face-off was so heated that Kumaraswamy at one point broke down and wept. It was then that he decided to quit and not give power to the BJP.
A nervous Kumaraswamy rushed to his father for advice even as pressure was building from the party MLAs. While a majority favoured a tie-up with the BJP, Revanna played spoilsport. He played the emotional card saying that if anything happens to Dewe Gowda, Kumaraswamy would be responsible.
(Compiled by Sonali Pimputkar)