Even as fresh trouble is brewing for the Jagadish Shettar government, from the former strongman B.S. Yeddyurappa, the new BJP president Rajnath Singh on Monday tried to make it appear all is well with the Karnataka unit and expressed confidence that the regime would complete its term.
The term of the 224-member (excluding a nominated member) Assembly will expire on June 3 and the Election Commission is planning to hold the poll by April-end.
Talking to journalists after Mr. Shettar called on him here to discuss the latest crisis triggered by the resignation of 13 BJP MLAs, including two ministers, in support of Mr. Yeddyurappa’s Karnataka Janata Paksha (KJP), Mr. Singh said: “There is no crisis in the Karnataka government.” It will definitely complete its full term”.
Patting Mr. Shettar on the back, Mr. Singh said he was “very intelligent, very sharp and very confident CM.”
Pooh-poohing reports that the government was likely to get toppled in the wake of the resignations, the Chief Minister said that till now no MLA had resigned. “So, we have to wait and see what is going on.... Let us see.” He was confident that he would complete his full term.
Meanwhile, the Janata Dal (Secular), which has 26 members in the Assembly, blamed the Congress for all confusion in the State. From the beginning, the Congress, which has 71 members, had not been cooperating with the JD(S) in opposing and dislodging the “communal” BJP government, said secretary-general Kunwar Danish Ali. The Congress’ response was lukewarm whenever the JD(S) tried to bring down the government. “We tried our best to oust the government,” Mr. Ali said.
There are reports that Mr. Yeddyurappa might support the move, if the Congress and JD(S) jointly move a no-confidence motion. But both parties are hesitant as it might prove counterproductive, going in favour of Mr. Yeddyurappa and also not going down well with the majority Lingayat community (to which Mr. Shettar belongs), as the government is at the fag-end of its term, say informed sources.
The BJP has 117 MLAs excluding the Speaker against a required simple majority of 113 in the Assembly. There are seven Independents and two vacancies.