Bengaluru,Sept 08, 2018 : Former Karnataka chief minister and BJP leader BS Yeddyurappa rushed back to Bangalore from Delhi on Saturday morning amid speculation of renewed efforts by the opposition to topple the JD(S)-Congress government in the state.
Yeddyurappa was in Delhi to attend the two-day meeting of the party national executive when he made an unscheduled journey back to the state capital. Later, he clarified that he returned to attend to a family emergency and that it has nothing to do with state politics.
The feud between Congress MLA Lakshmi Hebbalkar and the powerful Jarkhiholi brothers in Belgaum district is threatening to destabilise the coalition government, providing enough opening for the opposition BJP to explore options of government formation.
Former CM Jagadish Shettar has maintained that the BJP will certainly try to take the advantage of fluid political situation in the state.
Trouble for the ruling alliance may come from another quarter: investigations by Enforcement Directorate against powerful Congress minister DK Shivakumar and his brother DK Suresh, who is also a Congress MP.
On Saturday, the brothers told News18 that the “desperate BJP hungry for power” was trying to "fix" them in a money laundering case to topple the government.
"The state BJP is using ED and Income Tax departments to harass us. They think that the government will collapse if they restrain us. But that will never happen. We will fight back and the government will be safe" said DK Shivakumar.
Speaking to News18, HD Kumaraswamy said that he was aware of the "dirty tricks” used by the BJP to unseat him and his government was not so weak to be demolished like this.
"We have done very well in the recently held Urban Local Body Elections. Congress and JDS together have won over 60% seats and got over 53% votes. The BJP is no longer a leading force in urban areas. If we continue in power till Lok Sabha elections next year, the BJP will bite the dust. That’s why they are back to old tactics. But we are prepared to fight them once again," he told News18.
The Karnataka Assembly has 224 members. At present, two seats are vacant.
The Congress has 79, JDS 36, BSP 1 and 2 Independents together form the ruling coalition, which has 118 MLAs. The BJP has 104 members.
BJP with 104 MLAs in the House can cross the half-way mark if it makes at least 15 legislators from the ruling coalition resign, thereby bringing down the total strength of the House to 107. This would also bring down the halfway mark for majority to 104.
Kumaraswamy has threatened that even he could “engineer” defections from the BJP to JDS, if the saffron party does not stop its "unconstitutional" methods to come to power.
The Karnataka BJP, meanwhile, said the “story of corrupt brothers now stays exposed in front of Kannadigas”.