‘We do not foresee any trouble at least till the ULB elections’
Even as the number of its MLAs is dwindling, the Bharatiya Janata Party government is confident of managing the show for some more time without opting for dissolution of the Legislative Assembly.
“We are confident of pulling along for some more time. We do not foresee any trouble at least till the elections to the urban local bodies,” sources in the BJP said. Pointing out that five more party MLAs will have to quit to reduce the Jagadish Shettar government to a minority, they maintained that it may not be possible for the Opposition Congress to muster the numbers as it would be difficult for that party to accommodate all of them in the forthcoming Assembly elections.
Presently, the BJP government is hanging by a thread as the resignations by three of its MLAs (Vittal Katakdonda, Tarikere Suresh and Shankaralinge Gowda) are pending before Speaker K.G. Bopaiah and three more MLAs are reportedly waiting for clearance from the Congress to quit their Assembly seats. As a counter-strategy, the BJP is said to be in touch with the MLAs whose resignations are yet to be accepted to convince them not to press for acceptance of their resignations for some more time.
“Dissolution of Assembly will be our last option which we may have to exercise to ensure that Mr. Shettar continues as caretaker Chief Minister only in the event of five more MLAs from our fold quitting. But we will not press the panic button and opt for dissolution now itself. We will continue till the end,” sources said.
They also noted that the party was monitoring the situation on a daily basis and keeping their central leadership informed. “We have been given freedom by the central leadership to make appropriate decision based on the ground realities,” they said.
Meanwhile, the BJP leadership believes that the elections to the urban local bodies is an opportunity for the party to improve its position in these bodies as they are being held for the first time when the party is in power independently. The party, which had put up an average performance in the previous elections held in 2007, is now trying to capture as many ULBs as possible in a bid to create a political trend ahead of the Assembly elections.
The ULB elections are going to be an acid test for the party as they are the first Statewide polls being held after it witnessed a split with its former Chief Minister B. S. Yeddyurappa joining the Karnataka Janata Paksha. This is likely to impact the party’s performance in some of the districts, especially Shimoga and Haveri. Similarly, the exit of Bellary Reddy brothers may also affect its performance in Bellary.