The possibilities are very high. The score stands at 105 for the BJP and 102 (counting Congress MLA Ramalinga Reddy who has decided to withdraw his resignation), in favour of the Congress-JDS alliance. With the Supreme court ruling that the 15 rebel MLAs cannot be compelled to take part in the Trust vote on Thursday, the power of the whip has been thrown into the dustbin. This means the effective strength of the House is down to 210, making 106 the magic number to achieve.
Only the Cricket World Cup final on Sunday was more exciting. But one thing is certain. There will be no Kane Williamson in Karnataka on Thursday. The entire political series over the past few weeks has been marked by bitterness, vitriol and scheming.
HD Kumaraswamy plans to take advantage of the live proceedings in the Vidhana Soudha to make himself heard. Not that he will say anything that is not known in the public domain. If numbers force him to say goodbye, he is likely to take a leaf out of his father, HD Deve Gowda’s speech in Parliament in 1997 when he was forced to step down as Prime Minister. Gowda had then vowed to rise like “a phoenix from the ashes”.
Kumaraswamy will hope if he loses, he goes out looking like a victim. The jury is out on whether that will be sentiment on the street given all three political parties and the handful of independents have done everything possible to sully Brand Karnataka with ugly political manoeuvring.
Such a speech won’t soften the BJP’s heart for Kumaraswamy either. Thirteen summers ago, BS Yeddyurappa and Kumaraswamy had come together to form a coalition, a 20-20 arrangement. It entailed that Kumaraswamy will be CM for the first 20 months and then hand over charge to Yeddyurappa for the next 20. Kumaraswamy reneged on his word after finishing his tenure, leaving a bad taste in Yeddyurappa’s mouth. If he manages to unseat Kumaraswamy today, it will be sweet revenge for the BJP strongman.