Bengaluru, July 23: It's been over three days since Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy moved a confidence motion to prove majority in the House but legislators are yet to vote. Karnataka Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar on Monday categorically stated that the trust vote should happen by 6 pm on Tuesday. He also summoned the 12 rebel Congress MLAs who resigned from their Assembly seats for a hearing in response to a notice by their party disqualifying them for defying the whip.
Since the Supreme Court has made it clear that rebel MLAs cannot be compelled to attend the Assembly, both the Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) are having a tough time to save their 13-month-old coalition government. However, the Supreme Court has authorised the Speaker to decide on resignation of 15 MLAs (12 Congress + 3 JDS). DK Shivakumar Alleges Horse Trading by BJP, Accuses HD Kumaraswamy of Being Lenient.
How numbers stack up in the Karnataka Assembly:
The strength of the Karnataka assembly is 224. The magic number is 113, excluding the Speaker who casts his vote only in the event of a tie. Before 15 legislators' resignation, Congress had 80 members (including speaker + nominated member) and JD(S) 37. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has 105 legislators. Two independents (H Nagesh and R Shankar) and a BSP leader are also members of the House. Karnataka Trust Vote: Assembly Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar Takes a Dig at Politics of Defection.
Following the resignations, the strength of the Karnataka Assembly has come down to 210 and the majority mark is 106. Now, Congress has 68 members and JD(S) 34. Since two independents have withdrawn their support, the JDS-Congress number has come down to 103 with support of lone BSP MLA. Therefore, if the rebels don't withdraw their resignation, the JDS-Congress will lose the majority.
The strength of the coalition government may further go down to 101 as two Congress legislators (Shrimanth Patil and B Nagendra) are hospitalised and won't attend the House. If the situation persists, the JDS-Congress government would fall. The Governor may then choose to invite the BJP -- the largest party in the assembly -- to form the government.
What Congress can do to stop BJP from coming to power:
Congress could have chosen to walk out of the government, creating a hung assembly in Karnataka. If resignations of Congress MLAs are not accepted and the party withdraws its support, the strength of Karnataka Assembly would remain 224 and the majority mark would be 113. Since no party has the support of 113 legislators, there wouldn't be a BJP government until fresh elections are held.