The important bypoll results for the Karnataka State Assembly on Monday will decide the fate of the BJP government in the state. While the current government holds a majority in the truncated assembly with the support of its 104 MLAs and the support of an Independent MLA, they will need atleast to win at least 6 of the 15 seats in the by-polls to retain power. Two seats from Maski and RR Nagar are still vacant.
The halfway mark in the 225-seat Karnataka assembly is 112. After the vacuum created by the 15 seats vacant in the by-polls, the BJP holds exactly 50% support (105 seats) in the truncated Assembly. Currently, the JD(S)-Congress holds 100 seats combined (JD(S)-34 seats, Cong-66).
In case the Yediyurappa-led BJP government fails to win six seats, the two former allies can combine to form the next government, provided their combined tally exceeds six. Their previous stint running a coalition government ended in disaster and the two allies who fell out - blaming each other for their Lok Sabha failures, resulting in no pre-poll alliance. But the two parties could join hands as they have hinted at a post-poll alliance looking at the by-poll results with JD(S) chief Deve Gowda saying the same.
This scenario, though highly unlikely, can lead to a dicey situation. With the BJP having 105 seats, the JD(S)-Congress combination can narrow the wafer-thin gap closer. This scenario will rely on the independents support then. If the independents win the remaining seats and pledge support to the JD(S)-Congress combination, then the BJP government will fall, ushering a coalition government again.
In case of the independent MLAs win all seats due to growing distrust among voters against the defected MLAs and fatigue from the previous JD(S)-Congress government, it will result in major moves from both sides to woo the independent MLAs. Depending on the majority MLAs supporting the Congress- JD(S) combination, this scenario can result in a coalition government again. BJP had toppled the Kumaraswamy government on August 26, winning 105 seats.
The by-polls which was necessitated by the disqualification of 17 rebel MLAs by Speaker Ramesh Kumar was originally to be held on October 21 but were later revised by the Election Commission to December 5. The Supreme Court too allowed the rebel MLAs to contest in the Karnataka by-polls, post which 16 rebel MLAs promptly joined the BJP. By fielding 13 of the 16 rebel MLAs, BJP aims to win at least 6 of the 15 seats in the by-polls.