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BJP's win pushes JD(S)-Congress regime to the edge in Karnataka

The ruling coalition is surviving on a razor-thin majority, keeping the Kumaraswamy government on the edge.
The one-year old JD(S)-Congress regime has moved closer to uncertainty after the two parties suffered a humiliating defeat at BJP’s hands in the Lok Sabha polls. The results have likely pushed sections of JD(S) and Congress MLAs to think about their political future and weigh options.

An embattled Congress and JD(S) are holding on to each other tightly with their respective leadership determined to save the regime at any cost. Congress Legislature Party (CLP) chief Siddaramaiah has dismissed any immediate threat to the government from the BJP’s win.

The State BJP too, sources said, has decided not to make hasty moves to dislodge the government. The BJP will instead wait for the new ministry to assume office at the Centre, before setting the ball rolling.

It is said sections of the JD(S) and Congress MLAs are ready to switch over to the BJP camp, recognising its surging political stock with voters. Once the coalition regime is reduced to a minority, the BJP will stake its claim to form the government.

Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy is battling hard times on personal front too with both his father HD Deve Gowda and son Nikhil Kumaraswamy defeated in the JD(S) strongholds of Tumakuru and Mandya, respectively. The CM’s nephew Prajwal Revanna, however, has retained the Hassan seat, bringing small relief to the party.

The BJP has not just won 25 out of 28 seats in Karnataka, but has also wrested Chincholi Assembly seat in Gulbarga district from the Congress. That has pushed up the BJP’s tally to 105 seats in the 224-member Assembly. The Congress has improved its tally to 79 by winning the Kundagol seat in Dharwad district. The JD(S) has 37 MLAs while the BSP has one member. Two MLAs are independents.

The ruling coalition is surviving on a razor-thin majority, keeping the Kumaraswamy government on the edge. Union Minister D.V.Sadananda Gowda on Thursday asked the JD(S)-Cong regime to acknowledge the terrible loss of face in the polls and resign on its own honouring people’s mandate.

As the BJP is treads with caution, the CM has said both Congress and JD(S) will discuss the electoral setback for the two parties. “Our party has seen many victories & losses over the years and party workers need not lose heart on this loss. Let us strive to strengthen the party in the days ahead,” Kumaraswamy tweeted.

In light of people decisively rejecting the coalition politics and voting emphatically for the BJP, Kumaraswamy has called for an informal Cabinet meeting today, and a meeting of the JD(S) legislature party thereafter to analyse factors for the defeat. He may also toss the idea of stepping down as CM owning moral responsibility. If the CM were to make such an offer, the Congress is unlikely to accept it, and instead, will pledge its continued support.
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