As the 2019 Lok Sabha polls draw nearer, the politics of seat sharing has resurfaced. Indignant at the Congress’ move to offer JD(S) fewer and fewer seats, chief minister HD Kumaraswamy says his party is no beggar. But the Congress feels it is no issue at all, prefers to iron out flaws sitting across the table.
Bengaluru: Ever since the JD(S) and Congress decided to join hands with an obvious bid to keep the BJP out of power in Karnataka, the coalition has time and again managed to exhibit the differences that exist between them.
A few months ago, chief minister HD Kumaraswamy cried in public and compared himself to Vishakantha (another name for lord Shiva for drinking poison and storing it in his throat). Later he even offered to resign as a few Congress loyalists of Siddaramaiah openly declared that it is Siddaramaiah and not Kumaraswamy that is their chief minister. As the inventory of embarrassments and mortifications only continues, Kumaraswamy has now stated that his party is not a beggar!
But why would the chief minister use the word beggar? Well, that brings us to the issue of seat sharing by the two parties for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls 2019.
Akin to the coalition in the state, the JD(S) and Congress have worked on a formula to share seats, again with an obvious attempt to ruin the chances of the BJP. But this seat sharing formula has only become a formula for disaster as the two parties have never been on the same page.
Former chief minister Siddaramaiah openly stated that his party was in no mood to relinquish any seats currently held by them. To this, Kumaraswamy became so infuriated that he stated the JD(S) is not a beggar to accept whatever the Congress says.
“I don’t know if it is five or seven seats. But we JD(S) are not beggars to yield to the demands of the Congress. I will not mince words in this regard,” he thundered.
It was indeed a strong message sent out by the JD(S) leader. And the Congress seems to have understood the message quite well.
KE Radhakrishna, the vice-president of Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) said, “In politics, nobody is a beggar. Neither the JD(S) nor congress is a beggar. HD Kumaraswamy is a seasoned political leader. He must have reacted emotionally but when leaders sit down and talk across the table, all issues will be sorted out. This is not something that has to be blown out of proportion.”
And we should confess that Kumaraswamy and his father HD Deve Gowda know how to play their game well.
“It is very clear. We are very strong contenders. It is not about five or seven seats. We want double-digit seats. We are very strong in the Mysuru region. Last time, we contested against the Congress and lost three to four seats by a margin of just 40,000-50,000 votes. In the south Mysuru region, we are stronger. The Congress should respect us,” said state JD(S) spokesperson, Arivalagan.
However, political analysts beg to differ, saying the alliance itself is unholy and opportunistic.
“The fight between the two parties is only natural. They have always fought. The unscrupulous and opportunistic alliance is unnatural. Ultimately, it is the elections where you establish your identity as a party. The Congress wants to contest the elections alone and win as many seats as possible. Why will it sacrifice its winning prospects to the JD(S). It is quite natural that Siddaramaiah has been very assertive. It is the hypocrisy and the double standards of the JD(S) that stand exposed. The JD(S) is indeed shameless,” said SA Hemanth Kumar, senior political analyst.
Lastly, the BJP. The saffron party has been a strident critic of the coalition government and has never missed out on an opportunity to mock the coalition.
“Beggars are no choosers. In this case, the party that takes the seat share for granted is the beggar. While both claim not to be beggars, at the same time, neither of them has the capacity to earn their own food. They stretch their arms for alms. The weaker of the two will become a beggar. So the society will wait to see who will be proven beggars,” says Go Madhusudhan, a BJP spokesperson.
It’s implicit that any government that is chosen works for the betterment of the society. But in the current coalition, it is a question of survival and nothing beyond that. It’s a matter of shame that JD(S) and Congress are playing musical chairs to usurp power from each other.
Ultimately, it is the voters who ‘beg’ for some decent statements, at least!
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Last Updated Feb 20, 2019, 1:46 PM IST