In Karnataka, LS result may dent stability of Cong-JDS govt

Pollsters predict 21 of 28 seats for BJP against last time’s 17

Bengaluru, May 22

As the Congress-JDS government in Karnataka led by HD Kumaraswamy completes one year tomorrow, the ruling coalition is on the edge with the LS results widely expected to have a bearing on its stability.

Kumaraswamy was sworn in as head of the coalition government after heightened political drama that saw BS Yeddyurappa, the leader of the single largest party BJP, resigning as CM of a three-day-old government, unable to prove his majority in the Assembly.

Kumaraswamy’s swearing-in on May 23, 2018, saw a galaxy of top leaders and regional satraps in a rare public show of unity, perceived as a possible harbinger of a broad-based anti-BJP alliance ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.

One year after the get together of leaders of non-BJP parties, that later came to be known as “mahagathbandhan”, results of LS polls will be declared that will determine the fate of those who aspired to defeat the Narendra Modi-led saffron party.

With pollsters predicting BJP will win big in Karnataka by bagging over 21 of 28 seats as compared to 17 last time, it has cast its shadow on any plans by the coalition to celebrate one year in office, as the alliance stability itself is at stake.

It has been a turbulent one year for the government that came into existence as Congress and JD(S), arch rivals in the old Mysuru region, came together to form a coalition as the May 2018 Assembly polls threw up a hung verdict.

Coalition worries, dissidence in alliance partner Congress and a strong BJP with 104 MLAs allegedly trying to poach MLAs of the ruling alliance repeatedly aiming to destabilise the government marred the smooth functioning of the government.

Though putting up a brave face, coalition leaders decided to jointly fight the LS polls and reached a seat-sharing agreement of 21 and seven seats for Congress and JD(S).

But it was not something grassroots level workers of both parties were okay with, especially in old Mysuru region, where they are arch rivals.

BJP is contesting 27 of 28 seats and supporting Independent candidate Sumalatha Ambareesh in Mandya.

According to sources, despite efforts by both parties, the alliance has not worked in constituencies of old Mysuru region that may have its implications on the poll outcome and in turn the stability of the government. Voices have started emerging in Congress to end the alliance, holding the partnership with JD(S) as the reason for the party’s possible poor performance in the LS polls, as reflected in exit polls. — PTI

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