With the BJP and the Janata Dal(S) in Karnataka having come together again and staked claim to form a government, the Union Cabinet is likely to discuss the question of revoking President's rule in the state on Friday. A preliminary report from governor Rameshwar Thakur was received on Wednesday, but another final one is expected before the cabinet meets.
The uncertainty over whether the centre, despite the patch up in Karnataka, would actually allow a government with a BJP chief minister to take charge, increased on Thursday with the fresh conditions imposed by JD(S) mentor H.D. Deve Gowda for supporting the BJP. The conditions were faxed to BJP chief Rajnath Singh on Thursday morning. Many central leaders left the patch up was already close to coming apart.
In Karnataka too, a sense of gloom enveloped the state BJP as Deve Gowda's formula - ironically for what he called 'harmonious functioning' of the coalition - was discussed.
Indeed, Congress leader Veerapa Moily dropped strong hints to suggest that the born again BJP-JD(S) combine may not be invited at all. He noted that the Congress was not in any way trying to impede government formation in Karnataka, but only expressing the people’s concern about the “deepening political uncertainty” following the BJP-JD(s) squabbles. “How can the centre or the governor allow government formation in the state with the political scenario getting murkier,” he said, referring to Deve Gowda's letter.
He claimed the formation of a BJP-JD(s) government was in the interests of the Congress as both the alliance partners would rapidly discredit themselves once in power. “But it is not in the interests of the people. It is also against the rule of law to permit government formation under such conditions,” he said.
On its part, the BJP sought to downplay the terms laid down by Gowda for the saffron party-led government, saying they were "expectations" and not "conditions". BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar parried most questions, insisting the government was stable.
President's rule was imposed in Karnataka on October 9 after the JD(S)-BJP government collapsed due to differences between the coalition partners over transfer of Chief Ministership.