Power games in Karnataka finally came to an end with the Centre on Tuesday imposing President's Rule in the state on the recommendation of Governor Rameshwar Thakur. However, the Cabinet decided to keep the assembly alive by putting it under suspended animation, instead of going for dissolution of the House as recommended by the state governor.
Announcing the decision of the Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, finance minister P Chidambram said, ‘‘The government on Tuesday discussed the recommendations sent by the Karnataka Governor and decided to impose central rule in the state, keeping the assembly in suspended animation.’’
The government sources said dissolution of the House and fresh assembly elections were inevitable, with the suspended animation decision aimed at ruling out accusations from any quarter that they were not given any chance to explore chances of forming an alternative government. The suspended animation move means that an option of a forming a government from within the same assembly would technically remain, although its chances are slim at the moment.
Given the sharply polarised positions between the three major formations in the state, political circles contend that the scope of either two parties coming together does not seem possible at the moment. The Congress has already attacked the JD(S) and has demanded imposition of central rule in the state. The BJP and the JD(S), on the other hand, did attempt to take a second jab at forming an alternative, but the BJP has refused to play ball.
The BJP, the largest party in the current assembly, after withdrawing support from the HD Kumaraswamy led coalition government, made it clear that it preferred elections than any other combination to form the government. The governor recommended imposition of central rule in the state following chief minister H D Kumaraswamy's resignation in the wake of his coalition government losing support of BJP after JD(S) refused to handover power to it.
Though, the chief minister wanted to have an opportunity to go in for a floor test in the assembly, the governor on Monday did some plain talking and asked him to step down, as he did not have the numbers to his side.
The ruling JD(S)-BJP alliance broke up after Kumaraswamy refused to step down in favour of BJP nominee and former deputy chief minister BS Yediyurappa and honour the power-sharing accord reached between the two parties 20 months ago.
Moreover, as the sense of losing power trickled down to a large number of MLAs from both the sides, they were seen making last ditch efforts to revive their alliance. Even Kumaraswamy was reported to have announced that he was ready to support a BJP chief minister, but the plan did not work, as the central leadership of the saffron party directed its state unit not to engage in any further negotiations with the JD(S).