The counting of votes for the 15 assembly constituencies that went for by-polls in Karnataka are going on and the ruling BJP has won 7 of the 15 seats. Congress has won 2. The BJP, which needed 6 seats to retain the majority, has now attainted it. BJP is expected to win 12 seats in total and Congress ally in Karnataka, JD(S) and scored a zero. Following the results, Congress in the state has suffered a massive jolt as Siddaramaiah has resigned as the Legislative Party Leader and as the leader of opposition in Karnataka Assembly.
Siddaramaiah, Congress: As a leader of legislative party, I need to respect democracy. I have resigned as Congress Legislative Party leader. I have submitted my resignation to Sonia Gandhi Ji. #KarnatakaBypolls pic.twitter.com/ZkeVu7lBHG
— ANI (@ANI) December 9, 2019
Siddaramaiah, the former Chief Minister of Karnataka when the Congress was in power and the Legislative Party Leader currently has said that he is resigning because he ‘needs to respect democracy’. He has also resigned as Leader of Opposition in the Karnataka Assembly.
According to ANI, Siddaramaiah has said that he has submitted his resignation to Congress party interim chief Sonia Gandhi.
In July, the 14-month-old Congress-JDS government led by HD Kumaraswamy had fallen after it lost the trust vote in the assembly. The coalition government had lost the majority after 16 MLAs from both the parties had turned rebel and resigned from the assembly. After rebel MLAs from Congress and JDS had resigned, 15 out of 17 Karnataka seats had become vacant. The apex court had held the disqualification order but had disagreed on the duration of disqualification and had held that the MLAs will face re-election.
All MLAs were from Congress and JDS who had later decided to support the BJP. The 15 MLAs were all given BJP tickets. To retain power in the state, BJP needed to win at least 6 seats out of the 15. Following the disqualification, the strength of the assembly was reduced to 208, where BJP held the simple majority of 105. It had the support of independent MLA H Nagesh. Now, the numbers needed by BJP have been attained following the by-polls.
As for Siddaramaiah, when the Congress-JDS alliance had chosen to make Kumaraswamy the Chief Minister, it was considered a humiliating ouster for the Congress leader. There were several rumours of dissent not only from Siddaramaiah but also his supporters from within the Congress party.