In the end, HD Kumaraswamy fell short by 6 runs. It did not go down to the wire with the third umprire, the Speaker having to step in. Kumaraswamy will have reason for grief. He even fell short of the century mark by one vote. The BJP kept its tally of 105 while the coalition fell to 99 in a House where 204 MLAs voted.
Witht he rebel Congress and JDS MLAs playing a major part in the defeat of the coalition, the resounding message from the Karnataka Vidhana Soudha was – `The rebels have it, the rebels have it, the rebels have it’.
The other big message as former CM Jagadish Shettar said was that the BJP hopes to form a stable government. The irony was not lost on anyone given the role played by the trojan horses and horse-trading in this entire episode.
Kumaraswamy formally submitted his resignation and now the way is clear for for BS Yeddyurappa to stage a comeback. In May 2018, his government was short-lived as he was run out by the joint work done by Kumaraswamy and Siddaramaiah. Having outsmarted them now, Yeddyurappa will hope he can have a run till 2023.
That will be easier said than done because a lot depends on the fate of the 15 rebel MLAs. While there is no denying the role played by the BJP in the rebellion, what goodies have been promised to them and whether the BJP can deliver on its word, will determine the longevity of the BJP government.
But before that the Governor has to convince himself that Yeddyurappa or anyone else in the BJP can provide stable governance. R Ashoka, former minister has confirmed that the BJP will meet the Governor on Wednesday and stake claim to form the government. But the final word will come from Delhi by the BJP leadership.
The task for the new government will be to ensure that byelections are held to the seats where the MLAs have resigned and a majority of them win on the BJP ticket. Only then can the BJP sarkaar cross the 113 mark.
Another Act in Karnataka’s political theatre has ended. But given the nature of the 2018 verdict, brace yourself for yet another show in the near future.