Karnataka: 10 things to know about Operation Kamala 2.0

Karnataka: 10 things to know about Operation Kamala 2.0

With the BJP-Congress-JD(S) political quagmire engulfing the Karnataka cabinet, here are the 10 things you need to know about Operation Kamala 2.0.

1. After the Assembly elections in 2018 gave a fractured mandate, Congress and JD(S) joined their hands to form the government. Though B S Yeddyurappa, the BJP state president was sworn as chief minister by Governor Vajubhai Vala, he decided to resign as attempts to lure MLAs into their fold was foiled.

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2. Water Resources minister and Congress leader D K Shivakumar emerged as the 'hero' for herding the MLA flock by taking them to a private hotel ahead of the trust vote. He successfully executed a similar move in 2017 for the Rajya Sabha election from Gujarat. He moved 42 Gujarat Congress MLAs into his resort in Bengaluru. 

Water Resources minister and Congress leader D K Shivakumar. DH photo

3. It's all about the numbers. In the fifteenth Karnataka state Assembly, there are a total of 225 seats.

BJP- 104
Congress- 80
KPJP, Independent and BSP- 1 each.
Nominated candidate- 1.

The magic number is 113. 

4. In the assembly polls held in May 2008, the BJP emerged as the single largest party with 110 seats, three short of a simple majority. Yeddyurappa took oath as chief minister with the support of six independents to form the first BJP government in south India. But to further ensure the government’s stability, BJP poached seven MLAs -- three from Congress, four from JD(S) -- luring them with money and power, in an operation allegedly financed by mining baron and former BJP minister Janardhan Reddy. In the by-polls, the BJP won five seats, and this took BJP’s tally to 115 in the 224-member assembly.

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5. Though BJP failed to succeed in forming a government in 2018, news about a repeat of Operation Kamala was on the air always. Congress and JD(S) leaders including former PM Deve Gowda and CM H D Kumaraswamy kept on saying that the government is strong and will complete the term.

CM H D Kumaraswamy and Dy CM G Parameshwara

6. On one hand, Kumaraswamy's indifference towards the Congress (when he said Congress is treating him as a clerk) led to speculations over the strength of the alliance. Congress MLA Ramesh Jarkiholi, who went incommunicado after being axed from the Cabinet has led to speculation that he may join the saffron fold.

Also read: Who are the Jarkiholi brothers?

7. Following all these, state BJP refurbished Operation Kamal plans ahead of Lok Sabha elections scheduled for April-May this year. BJP, in a surprise move even to their own MLAs, took all of them to a hotel in Gurgaon in Haryana. They were told that the journey was for the national meeting of party parliamentarians.

8. On Tuesday, the BJP's strength increased to 106 when two MLAs joined its camp. If the BJP wants to form a government in Karnataka now, only 212 MLAs need to be present in the Assembly. For this to happen, at least 12 MLAs need to resign. (MLA's can't defect to the BJP due to the Anti-Defection Law. Otherwise, BJP should manage to bag 19 MLAs from JD(S) or 40 MLAs from the Congress, which is nearly impossible.)

9. It is neither impossible or a cakewalk to make 12 MLAs resign and ensure the win of at least 7 MLAs in a by-election to maintain the government. Since this tally includes two independents who can jump at any moment, 9 of the MLAs who resign from the Congress-JD(S) camp must win (from BJP) their seats.

Also Read: Cong, JD(S) blaming us unnecessarily: BJP’s CT Ravi

10. As of now, four MLAs are reportedly in Goa and three are in Mumbai from the ruling dispensation's camp. The Congress declared on Wednesday that the BJP’s attempted coup to reduce the coalition government to a minority had failed. But some uncertainty loomed as BJP legislators were asked to stay put in Gurugram with an assurance from their leader B S Yeddyurappa that something was still in the works.

Meanwhile, Congress and JD(S) claimed that they are in talks with at least four BJP MLAs to counter BJP's actions.

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