By A Special Correspondent
The Election Commission has announced bypolls for the 15 seats in Karnataka where the resignations submitted by legislators were not accepted and they were subsequently disqualified by the Speaker and which resulted in the fall of the Congress-JD(U) government led by HD Kumaraswamy. This announcement has dashed the hopes of these legislators as they will not be able to contest the bypolls. They have submitted a plea in the Supreme Court to cancel their disqualification but it remains to be seen whether the apex court hears their matter before the last date of submission of names.
The Karnataka assembly has 222 MLAs and the BS Yediyurappa government has only 106 MLAs in the house whose strength has been reduced due to the disqualifications and resignations. But the BJP will have to win at least 6 seats out of the 15 that are going to have bypolls if it hopes to retain the majority. While the Congress and the JD(U) have decided to contest separately, the former has already started working to retain the seats and cause a huge embarrassment to the BJP. But with the chief mover and shaker, DK Shivakumar in jail, the Congress efforts will receive a huge setback if he is not released on bail on 25th September when the court is likely to pronounce its judgment.
The BJP, on the other hand, might hope to get its caste calculations right and hope to repeat the spectacular success of the general elections to win more than 6 seats to remain comfortable. But it has to contend with rural and farm distress and the general downturn in the economy which has affected the common man badly. BSY is a wily customer and is not likely to suffer defeat easily. The results of the bypolls will be eagerly awaited as Karnataka has suffered for long due to shaky governments.