Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy will face a floor test on Friday which he is expected to sail through, barring unforeseeable events, ending the 10-day political uncertainty in the state. Kumaraswamy, who was sworn in at a grand assembly of leaders of non-BJP parties on Wednesday, looks sitting pretty given the strength of the JD(S)-Congress-BSP coalition in the House.
While the Congress has 78 MLAs, Kumaraswamy's JD(S) has 36, and BSP 1. The alliance has also claimed support of the lone KPJP MLA and an independent.
Kumaraswamy had won from two constituencies. BJP’s B S Yeddyurappa, who was sworn in as the chief minister on May 17, had stepped down two days later in the face of defeat without going through the motions of a floor test.
The 224-member Assembly has an effective strength of 221, as election for Jayanagar seat was countermanded following the death of the BJP candidate, and deferred in R R Nagar over allegations of electoral malpractices.
After taking oath, Kumaraswamy had voiced confidence about winning the floor test, but said he had an apprehension that the BJP would try to repeat "Operation Kamala" to bring down his government.
The term "Operation Kamala" or "Operation Lotus" was coined in 2008, when the BJP state chief B S Yeddyurappa took over as the chief minister. The party was short of three MLAs for a simple majority.
As part of "Operation Kamala", named after the BJP's election symbol lotus, some Congress and JD(S) MLAs were persuaded to join the saffron party, relinquish their membership of the Assembly, and recontest elections. Their resignations brought down the numbers required for a victory during the trust vote, which Yeddyurappa won.
Unfazed by Yeddyurappa's unceremonious exit, the BJP today fielded its senior leader S Suresh Kumar, a fifth term MLA, for the post of the Speaker whose election will precede the trust vote. Ramesh Kumar of Congress too filed his nomination for the post as the candidate of the ruling coalition.