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BJP treading cautiously on Karnataka govt formation

New Delhi: The BJP is not in a hurry to stake claim to form government in Karnataka as the fate of 17 rebel MLAs, who are from the Congress-JD(S) coalition, hangs in balance with the state assembly Speaker yet to take a call on either their resignations or the two parties’ plea for their disqualification.

BJP sources said the party will be more sure of its next move after Speaker Ramesh Kumar takes a decision or the Supreme Court, which is also hearing a case related to the matter, brings a legal closure to the issue.

The party’s central leadership is weighing its options, they said.

There is also a view that the BJP should go for fresh assembly polls in the state, seeking a clear majority but many leaders feel that the party should go ahead and stake claim for forming the government.

The decision Kumar, who was elected as a Congress candidate, takes can have a bearing on the contours of the next government.

As long as the rebel MLAs remain members of the assembly, the BJP will not have a clear majority and some of its leaders apprehend that rushing to form the next government in such a scenario will not be wise.

BJP leader B S Yeddyurappa, who is being seen as the likely contender for the top post again, had to resign as chief minister after the 2018 assembly polls as he could not muster a majority after staking claim to form the government on the ground that his party had emerged as the single largest one.

However, a party leader said things are more comfortable for the BJP now as rebel MLAs have already played their cards by ensuring the fall of the Congress-JD(S) government.

“We will still wait and watch. What is the hurry,” he said.

Yeddyurappa is keen to stake claim to form the next government but the party’s central leadership is treading cautiously.

Top party leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and its president Amit Shah, will take a call on the matter soon, he added.

The H D Kumaraswamy government in the state fell on Tuesday after it lost the confidence vote, garnering 99 votes against the 105 to the BJP in the assembly, ending the nearly three-week-long high political drama.

The coalition needed 103 votes in its favour to win the motion as 20 MLAs — Congress-JDS (17), BSP (1), Independents (2) — skipped proceedings, reducing the effective strength of the House to 205.

In Bengaluru, Yeddyurappa said he was awaiting instructions from his party central leadership on staking claim to form an alternative government in the state.

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