Bengaluru: Silence has descended over the BJP camp just 36 hours after the party triumphantly ejected the HD Kumaraswamy led JDS-Congress government in Karnataka.
Many party workers were hoping that BS Yeddyurappa would take charge as the next chief minister immediately. But, there is no clarity on his elevation and no official word from the party bosses in New Delhi.
A tense Yeddyurappa is waiting for the green signal from party chief Amit Shah to stake claim to form the next government. He has put off his visit to the national capital on the advice of the party high command.
According to state BJP leaders, the high command is treading cautiously because of the disqualification petition of 15 rebel Congress and JDS MLAs pending before Assembly Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar.
Both the parties are insisting on their disqualification. If they are disqualified, the Assembly strength will be down to 205 from the total strength of 224, and the BJP will scrape through in the trust vote with 105 MLAs of its own.
If the Speaker does not decide on their disqualification for some more time, the BJP won't be able to prove the majority as the required number is 112 or 113. Even if they manage, the government will be shaky.
The BJP can bring the rebel MLAs back from Mumbai and make them vote for the government. But, they fear that some of them might return to Congress and JDS camp, thus creating one more round of political uncertainty.
The wounded JDS and Congress have also decided to make it tough for Yeddyurappa in the Assembly by creating unexpected troubles. The Speaker, too, is keeping the suspense alive by not disclosing his next move.
If he disqualifies some MLAs, they can’t join the BJP cabinet immediately. They will have to wait to till the bypolls. Only if they are re-elected, can they join. They are worried that the BJP may not give tickets to all.
The Congress legislative party leader and former CM Siddaramaiah has already declared that they will do everything possible to defeat the defectors in the by-elections. "They are traitors. Most shameless people. They have no conscience. We will do everything possible to defeat them" he said.
The warning has scared some of them and they may return to the party fold ditching the BJP. But, the Congress claims that party doors are permanently shut for them and they will never take them back.
The Cabinet formation is also another worrying matter for the BJP. It has over 60 aspirants for the existing 34 berths. The BJP has to accommodate at least 10 rebels and it will definitely cause trouble within the party as many seniors may miss the chance.
Yeddyurappa is now 76 and he has crossed the age bar to be eligible to hold a ministerial post. Without him, the BJP is not in a position to run a government in Karnataka as he still commands the loyalty of many MLAs and the defectors agreed to back the government only because of him.
The state is also facing another crisis. The finance bill has to be passed by July 31. If that does not happen, the government will be left with no money to spend and government employees won't even get salaries.
Keeping the above complications in mind, the Centre might impose President’s Rule, keeping the Assembly under suspended animation for some time. They may lift the President's Rule once things settle in Karnataka, allowing Yeddyurappa to take oath as the chief minister for the fourth time.
For Yeddyurappa, who is rearing to go, it is a classic case of "too close yet too far".