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Panelists observe that BJP stands to gain in case govt falls, but motive of the rebels not clear

After the resignation of various Congress-JD(S) MLAs, the 13-month-old government in Karnataka is on the verge of serious threat. The rebel MLAs have reportedly made it clear that all 13 of them would stick together. APN’s popular debate Mudda discussed the issue. Anchorperson Neha Dubey posed the questions to panelists including the NCP’s Mahesh Chauhan, BJP’s JP Pandey, Congress’s Shakti Singh Bartwal, noted scribe Shankar Singh Bhatia, and APNconsultant Govind Pant Raju.

Chauhan said: “These are internal problems of the Congress. This might be pressure tactics, so that the rebels have their way. These 13 rebel MLAs have to think of their future in case their resignation is accepted. They might stand to lose membership as per the anti-defection law. BJP stands to gain, but what about these MLAs? Perhaps they want to make a point. Ministership cannot be offered by the BJP, or any party that forms the government, to these rebels.”

Raju said: “Look at Karnataka politics, for a long time we have been witnessing all kinds of alliances, and switching of sides. This crisis does not seem to have erupted all of a sudden. Leaders have a lot of expectations, and that leads to dissent, which ultimately weakens the government. These MLAs are no greenhorns, that they will resign for no reason. Why will they want to harm their career? In Lok Sabha polls, JD(S) performed badly.”

Chauhan said: “I agree with Raju. In 2018 when this government came to power, neither the Congress nor the BJP could form the government, and that’s how the Congress offered JD(s) to be an alliance partner in government formation. It does not look likely that the BJP has tried to break this government, though the BJP gets to gain in case the government falls. But why have these rebels risked their career? Who knows? It must be some negotiation and demand issue. That’s why  Kumaraswamy has stated that there is no threat to his government.”

Raju said: “Anything is possible. If this is pressure tactics, then more MLAs might threaten to resign. Most rebels who have resigned so far are close to Siddaramaiah.”

Pandey said: “How is BJP involved in this? Rebels are not kids, they have their own career to think of. It is an internal churning that is called for. When the Speaker and Governor decide that the current government cannot continue, only then will the BJP come in the picture. BJP is not hungry for power, we realise unstable governments are not good.”

Bartwal said:”This looks like a pressure game. Whenever there’s a problem, Kumarswamy has been found to be away to foreign lands.”

Bhatia said: “Congress always felt sore that the CM is not of their party despite their larger numbers. BJP will be looking to gain in this situation. We can’t rule out that the BJP is not in this game.”

Raju said: “In national politics, the motive for alliance-building is different. In Karnataka, the motive in the first place was to keep the BJP out. If BJP is behind this rebellion, then rebels must have been offered something lucrative, for them to risk their career.”

Chauhan said: “I would loike to add that this crisis has certainly not been affected by Rahul Gandhi’s resignation. Rahul resigned due to the poor performance of the Congress in the LS polls.”

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