It looks like that BJP is in no hurry in Karnataka. Rather than precipitate a crisis in the ruling combine in the state, the BJP seems to be ready to bide its time as it feels that the coalition-led Karnataka government would fall on its own.
Even among the success stories for the BJP in many States, the one it has managed to pull off in Karnataka has to be the sweetest. For, it has not only salvaged some respectability for the NDA in the South, but also helped the BJP to wrest the initiative back after the JD(S) and the Congress cobbled up a hurried and unprincipled alliance and edged past the BJP to form a government in the state a year ago.
It was also generally believed before the polls that if the BJP sweeps Karnataka, the JD(S)-Congress government in the State, which looked fragile, would break as the BJP was expected to pull the rug from under its rivals’ feet.
But It looks like that BJP is in no hurry in Karnataka. Rather than precipitate a crisis in the ruling combine in the state, the BJP seems to be ready to bide its time as it feels that the coalition-led Karnataka government would fall on its own.
Also, in the event of the government collapsing, the BJP seems more inclined towards a fresh state election rather than opt for some kind of arrangement with disgruntled MPs from the JD(S) camp.
This seems to be a pragmatic decision, one based on common sense logic. Also, past experience considered, the BJP still has bitter memories of power-sharing with the JD(S). The JD(S) betrayed the BJP after entering into a pact for sharing chief ministership between the two parties for 20-months each. The JD(S), despite having lesser number of MLAs than the BJP in that Assembly, had the first go at Chief Ministership, but after its 20-month period ended, it simply refused to honour its commitment to the BJP.
BS Yeddyurappa, who was the victim of the JD(S) chicanery then, is today not keen on using splintered JD(S) MLAs again.
He seems to have conveyed his decision to the BJP top brass too. Even if it means facing the electorate again, hardly a year after the last Assembly polls, the State BJP unit feels that this path is better and honourable rather than survive on MLAs poached from the opposite camp. This plan, of course, needs to be given the go-ahead by the BJP central team.
Meanwhile, with the JD(S) in total turmoil and the Congress in the state totally shell-shocked with the electoral blow it has received, the government looks disoriented to say the least. There seems to be confusion in the corridors of power, and nobody is sure as to who is in charge.
Chief minister HD Kumaraswamy has had to troubleshoot both in the party and in the family, as his son has lost the famous battle in Mandya while his nephew (brother’s son) is the sole winner for the JD(S) in the entire state.
The JD(S) is in total disarray while the Congress is directionless, and in the event, the government seems to have lost its legitimacy to continue in the office.
What happened last year was a mockery of people’s mandate in the state. Last May, the BJP won 104 seats – an increase of 64. The Congress secured just 80 seats; 42 seats lesser than their achievement in the previous election. The JD(S) which won just 37 seats, had its man as the chief minister.
And now that the Parliamentary elections have gone the BJP way in Karnataka, its claim to governance is that much more legitimate. The Congress-JD(S) should see the writing on the wall and do the honourable thing of giving up power rather than cling to it.
People’s mandate has to be respected. That is the point of democracy.
Last Updated May 27, 2019, 6:45 PM IST