In a move which could have larger political implications, N Mahesh, the lone MLA from the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) in Karnataka, who was earlier a minister in the HD Kumaraswamy government, announced on Sunday that he will not attend the floor test due on Monday. This will further reduce one vote for the ruling alliance which is alerady staring at certain defeat on the floor of the house.
Talking to media, BSP MLA N Mahesh will abstain from supporting the Congress-JDS led coalition government in the floor test tomorrow in Karnataka Assembly. N Mahesh informed that he decided to do so as per the direction of BSP supremo Mayawati. He said, “my high command has told me to abstain from voting on trust motion so I won’t attend the session on Monday and Tuesday. I’ll be in my constituency”.
BSP MLA Mahesh was one of the 20 members who had missed the Karnataka Assembly session on Thursday and Friday along with the 15 rebels MLAs, two independents, and Congress MLAs Srimant Patil and B Nagendra.
There are reports that Mahesh, the Kollegal MLA, is all set to join the BJP after the trust vote citing lack of funds for his constituency’s development in the present Congress-JDS government. He had resigned in October 2018 as the Primary and Secondary Education Minister, after disagreements had erupted between the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Congress concerning seat-sharing for the Madhya Pradesh assembly elections.
With Mayawati deciding not to support Congress-JDS in the Karnataka politics, the stage is set for further disagreements in the state of Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan as BSP has two and six MLAs respectively in these two states. The Madhya Pradesh government which is just marginally ahead of majority mark will face a tremendous amount of pressure if BSP decides to withdraw its support to the Kamal Nath government and in turn supports opposition BJP.
As many as 15 MLAs, 12 from Congress and three from JDS have resigned, while independent MLAs R Shankar and H Nagesh have withdrawn support to the coalition government, putting the Congress-JDS coalition government in Karnataka on edge.
If this position continues and Congress and JDS fails in wooing the dissidents back, the government will be reduced to a strength of 100 members including Speaker in the 225-member Assembly. The BJP has 105 members and the support of two Independents, which will be enough to form a government and prove majority in the house. One of the independents R Shankar may also abstain from the voting on Monday.