After 25 days of assuming office as Chief Minister of Karnataka and winning a trust vote in the Legislative Assembly, BS Yediyurappa was able to form only a partial cabinet a week ago by inducting 17 ministers. Sixteen berths are kept vacant to woo some more MLAs for an assured majority in the 225-member Assembly and to accommodate disqualified MLAs should any of them get their disqualification quashed by the Supreme Court.
The apex court is yet to set a date to hear petitions of the disqualified MLAs. Umesh Katti, eight-time MLA who has been denied a cabinet berth, has given an ultimatum to the Chef Minister to find him a berth failing which he is ready to revolt. Yediyurappa cannot even allocate portfolios to those who have made it to the cabinet as all of them are chasing ATM ministries and pulling strings in Delhi.
Having crossed three score and 15, Yediyurappa’s continuation as Chief Minister is in doubt as he is no longer eligible to hold office in the present BJP dispensation. With so many pressing problems confronting Karnataka, the State needs a cabinet that governs, not one whose members jockey for positions. Faced with rebellion within the ruling party, Yediyurappa rushes to Delhi seeking permission for each and every decision of his. He camps in Delhi for days on end for an audience with Union Home Minister Amit Shah.
Meanwhile, Bengaluru is crying for a government that governs. Those who joined the BJP from the erstwhile Janata Party have formed a group under the leadership of Katti to pull down the month-old BJP government if their demands are not met. The inclusion of Lakshman Savadi and CC Patil ,who were disqualified for watching porn videos inside the Assembly during Yediyurappa’s previous stint as Chief Minister, has not gone well with the new MLAs seeking ministerial berths.
The 2018 election to the Karnataka Assembly did not give a mandate to the BJP or any other political party in the State to govern. The Congress tried with the support of the Janata Dal (Secular) and failed and the BJP’s second attempt at ministry formation is heading in the same direction. Instead of promoting a dishonourable political culture, the BJP, which claims to be a party with a difference, should set an example for others to emulate.
With the Congress in total disarray and the BJP getting stronger at the Centre, there is no reason why it dhould hesitate dissolving the hung Assembly and order mid-term polls. When the State is reeling under one of its worst-ever floods in recent times, particularly in its northern districts, and more than Rs 50,000 crore of central funds have been committed for flood control projects, a dysfunctional government is the last thing the people of Karnataka want.