After the results of the Karnataka Assembly elections were announced on 15th May 2018, we have come a long way, yet we do not see a full-fledged government in place. Yes, this might be due to the “coalition compulsion,” a boring, untenable excuse UPA government used to give as justification or reason for its massive Ministerial corruption. No wonder, a National Political Party, Congress, was reduced to a rump with a mere 44 seats in Parliament in the 2014 election. As a result, it did not even qualify to be an official opposition of the House.
Therefore, if a full-fledged government is not formed by Kumaraswamy till today, the reason could be attributed to the evil of “coalition compulsion.” Now the question is, if coalition cannot be under moral principles and with some sanctity, why go for this evil? Only those who enter into this kind of opportunistic and unholy coalition should answer this question.
Here, I remember the words of Kennedy, President of America, in his inaugural speech. “Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate.” In the present case, both H.D. Deve Gowda, the JD(S) Supremo and Sonia Gandhi, the UPA Chairperson (in that capacity), seemed to have negotiated this coalition with utter, absolute fear. Fear of one party and one man. Party BJP, man Modi. Alleluia!
The exit polls, except for one which predicted required majority for BJP, had forecast a hung Assembly. Apparently, both BJP and Congress must have kept under wraps their Plan A, Plan B and even Plan C in the event of a hung Assembly.
And when the results came, with BJP 104, short of 7 for the magic number, Congress 78 and JD(S) a mere 37, the biggest shock was for BJP, which at one point was leading in 116-117 seats. Of course, in retrospect it was BJP’s own undoing. It had fielded dummy candidates in a couple of Constituencies which helped JD(S); denied ticket to a winning candidate in Varuna Constituency and Modi himself went out of the way to please H.D. Deve Gowda by publicly declaring his respect and admiration for him.
Those who do not learn from the past mistakes are doomed to repeat the same and perish. The 2004 Assembly elections and the events thereafter, following a fractured Assembly like now, did not seem to have taught any lesson to BJP under Amit Shah and Modi. I even wonder if it had taught any lesson to BJP’s State President B.S. Yeddyurappa, who was the victim — denied the CM’s office under a new coalition by H.D. Kumaraswamy. Earlier, JD(S) has reneged the Congress Chief Minister Dharam Singh after 20 months.
Despite this background, it is curious why BJP High Command was enthused to join hands with JD(S) as a coalition partner. Around midnight of May 15-16, according to my source, Amit Shah had talked to JD(S) President Kumaraswamy proposing a coalition where H.D. Revanna, the latter’s brother, would be made the Deputy Chief Minister. So Amit Shah was the first to make the move, a lesson learnt from its Mizoram and Goa experience — speed is the secret of success in love and war and also in Indian politics.
However, a call from Sonia Gandhi to JD(S) Supremo H.D. Deve Gowda early in the morning offering “unconditional” support, nay surrender, to JD(S) to form the coalition changed everything. So it was. As if to pre-empt this coalition, the BJP, with its own Governor in Raj Bhavan, got Yeddyurappa alone sworn-in as Chief Minister in such stinking vulgar haste with the ever-obliging Governor giving the newly-minted Chief Minister 15 days to prove the floor test. Comfortable number of days to do ‘horse-trading’ and poaching of MLAs happily. Congress got smart, went to the Supreme Court and got it reduced for one day. Rest is history and great victory for the Congress-JD(S) coalition which is struggling to take shape even as I write this.
Will this coalition between these two, who have earlier seen marriages of conveniences, like the present one, and also divorce, last the full 5-year term? At the Centre we have seen how Congress, after giving support from outside, withdrew support under some lame excuse. One reason, I remember, was setting a Police Constable to spy on the House of Rajeev Gandhi! And, if Deve Gowda could remember, he himself was made to resign when that “Old man in a hurry to become the Prime Minister,” Sitaram Kesri, the Congress President, pulled the carpet from under the feet of our Deve Gowda.
Thus with this kind of chequered history of coalition between Congress and JD(S), should the people of Karnataka (forget about BJP, no holy Angel either) believe the present government which is still in the labour pain inside the maternity ward?
No Sir. Let this Budget Session, in the middle of this month (June), be over and people of Karnataka will be witness to another round of political dombarata, tragic drama.
Remember, Congress which had 122 numbers in Siddharamaiah’s government, is reduced to 78, minus 44, while BJP which had only 40 seats in Siddharamaiah’s government has this time got 104, plus 64. And consider this: 16 Ministers lost in this election. How can such a Congress have any legitimacy to rule? That too in coalition with JD(S), which is two seats less than its earlier 40 seats, with a history of reneging as with Dharam Singh (2006) of Congress and Yeddyurappa (2008) of BJP.
The public sentiment about Kumaraswamy, otherwise an able and fair-minded administrator, seems that he is like a puppet on a string, nay many strings. Bible says, you cannot serve two masters — God and Mammon. Sadly, Chief Minister Kumaraswamy has to serve two masters now. Rahul Gandhi at the Centre and JD(S) Supremo H.D. Deve Gowda here in the State. If these two leaders think the elected MLAs are their stooges and dummies, because they submitted themselves to be holed up, like prisoners, in resorts and 5-Star hotels till Kumaraswamy took oath as Chief Minister, they will soon be in for a shock. Wait till the budget is passed. Don’t be surprised if BJP bounces back like India rubber ball!
Many self-respecting (Swabhimani) MLAs from both Congress and JD(S) would want to listen to Rabindranath Tagore’s poem in Gitanjali — Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high… Where the mind is led forward by thee into ever-widening thought and action. Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.
The French Philosopher Voltaire had famously declared about rebirth. He said, “After all, it is no more surprising to be born twice than it is to be born once. Everything in nature is resurrection.” Likewise, it will be no more surprising for Yeddyurappa to be sworn-in as Chief Minister for the fourth time than it was to be sworn-in thrice before. After all, there are many decisions taken by the earlier government to be undone which Kumaraswamy may not be able to do with his Big Brother, Congress, breathing down his neck. Thanks to George Orwell.
Tailpiece: There is one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that’s your own self. – Aldous Huxley