HD Kumaraswamy has said his ministry was stable and he is “totally relaxed”.
After two Independent MLAs in Karnataka withdrew support to the Congress-JD(S) alliance, a Maharashtra BJP minister on Tuesday said the HD Kumaraswamy-government will “come down” within two days.
Comments of Water Conservation, Protocol and OBC Minister Ram Shinde came amid a fresh political turmoil in Karnataka.
“People of Karnataka had given the mandate in favour of the BJP (in 2018 polls), but we fell short by some numbers (to form government). As the Congress-JD(S) alliance has been on a sticky wicket, there are indications that the (Kumaraswamy) government would come down in two days,” he told reporters.
The two MLAs, H Nagesh (Independent) and R Shankar (Karnataka Pragnyavantha Janatha Party), staying at a hotel in Mumbai, wrote to Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala, conveying their decision to withdraw their support with immediate effect, which set off a political storm.
Karnataka Water Resource Minister DK Shivakumar had said that three Congress MLAs were camping at a hotel in Mumbai in the “company of some BJP leaders”.
In the 224-member Karnataka Assembly, BJP has 104 members, Congress-79, JD(S) 37, Bahujan Samaj Party (BJP), KPJP and Independent one each, besides the Speaker.
The BSP, KPJP and an Independent are supporting the coalition.
Referring to the outcome of last year’s elections in Karnataka wherein the BJP had emerged as the single largest party, Mr Shinde, a close associate of Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, said, “You cannot ignore the mandate of the people. BJP got the maximum votes but Congress’ politics kept us away from power. Such arrangements don’t work”.
Amid reports of uncertainty over the survival of his seven-month old government, HD Kumaraswamy has said his ministry was stable and he is “totally relaxed”.
The BJP has shifted its flock of 104 MLAs to a resort in Haryana’s Nuh district, fearing their poaching by the ruling coalition.
Mr Shinde pointed out that the Congress had backed JD(S) patriarch HD Deve Gowda in becoming prime minister in 1996, but later withdrew support.
“It is the same Congress that had played politics with the then prime ministers Chandra Shekhar, Deve Gowda and IK Gujaral. How can you ignore such history and expect the current alliance of the Congress and JD(S) in Karnataka to be successful,” the minister asked.
Taking a swipe at Congress, Mr Shinde said the Karnataka CM wept in public because of troubles he was facing in running the alliance government along with Congress.
The Congress on Monday accused the BJP of using money earned through corruption in Maharashtra for destabilising the HD Kumaraswamy-led government in Karnataka, and asserted it would complete the five-year term along with the JD(S).
Maharashtra Congress chief Ashok Chavan said the developments in Karnataka have exposed the “power hungry” face of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah.
Mr Chavan also hit back at Ram Shinde over his “Karnataka government will come down in two days” remark and asked him to focus on his ministerial responsibilities.
“Money earned through corruption in Maharashtra is being used to destabilise the Karnataka government. We are aware at which minister’s bungalow meetings were held and what transpires at meetings held in five-star hotels,” a statement quoting Mr Chavan said.
“The Congress-JD(S) government will complete its five-year term opposing this autocratic and Fascist ideology. In the coming polls, people will defeat the BJP which has trampled upon democracy,” he said.
Mr Chavan accused the BJP of trying to form governments unscrupulously earlier in Uttarakhand, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Goa, Bihar and Jammu and Kashmir and Tamil Nadu.
“Mr Shinde’s department pushed farmers (in Maharashtra) towards drought. Instead of worrying about the Karnataka government, the minister should focus on burning issues such as farmers’ suicides and drought,” Mr Chavan said.