- Congress and the JDS are making attempts to save coalition from crashing
- BS Yeddyurappa says BJP will wait for further political developments
- The total number of resignations since last week stands at 15
The BJP on Monday said it would "wait" after two exits from the Karnataka Congress and Janata Dal Secular coalition threatened to plunge the government into a minority if 13 more resignations submitted last week are accepted today.
Amid frantic attempts by the Congress and the JDS to save the year-old coalition from crashing, the BJP appeared to do nothing but wait -- for lawmakers to cross over and fortify its claim to power.
"Let us see and wait. We don't want to comment now, we would wait for further political developments and take a decision only then," said BJP's Karnataka chief BS Yeddyurappa, who was forced to quit after a 48-hour stint as chief minister last year after he failed to gather enough lawmakers to form a government.
With two independent lawmakers H Nagesh and R Shankar quitting the government just a month after they were made ministers in the coalition's attempts to shore up its numbers, the BJP may be just past the majority mark.
If the resignations of 13 lawmakers are accepted, the assembly strength will drop to 209 and so will the majority mark (106). The ruling coalition will have 103 and the BJP, 107. But everything hinges on the decision taken by the Speaker when he examines the resignation letters today.
"The government will run smoothly. The two independent MLAs have told the governor they will support BJP. Now we are 105 + 2 = 107," said Mr Yeddyurappa.
Asked whether he would seize the chance to stake claim, Mr Yeddyurappa had earlier said: "Let's wait and watch. Are we sanyasis (hermits)? After the resignation process is over and the speaker takes his decision, leaders of our party will discuss and decide."
The BJP has denied the Congress' accusation that it played a role in destabilising the coalition.
"It is Rahul Gandhi who started the resignation spree in Congress, now one leader after another is quitting. What does the BJP have to do with this," Union Minister Rajnath Singh remarked in the Lok Sabha.
"Our party does not have a tradition of putting pressure or offering inducements to any other party's lawmaker or legislator. Because we are committed to the sanctity of parliamentary democracy," the Defence Minister said.
The Congress, however, has alleged that the BJP flew 11 lawmakers from Bengaluru to Mumbai on a special flight on Saturday after they resigned. The party says it has been prevented from contacting its own rebel partymen at the Mumbai five-star hotel where they are staying.
Congress workers protested outside the hotel on Monday, prompting the dissidents to move from Mumbai to Goa.
The Congress said the presence of Mr Yeddyurappa's personal assistant with independent lawmaker H Nagesh when he took a special flight to Mumbai proved the BJP's hand in trying to bring the coalition down.