After having the Lok Sabha polls abysmally badly in Karnataka, the JDS is a lot frustrated. This is evidently seen in the way Kumaraswamy has his father have conducted themselves.
Bengaluru: Admittedly, these are not the best of times for the former prime minister Deve Gowda’s family.
The patriarch of the family is an embittered man these days. After his egregious loss at Tumakuru in the parliamentary election, he has been venting out his frustrations, mostly due to the problems engendered in his family and in the ruling coalition by the near BJP sweep in the state.
Deve Gowda's one grandson managed to win from Hassan (HD Revanna's son), while another (HD Kumaraswamy's son) failed from Mandya. This triggered icy exchanges in the family which was anyway embroiled in internecine battles.
There is also plenty of resentment in the JD(S) over the fact that the Gowdas are running the party like it is the family property.
Elsewhere, the near washout in the general elections has brought to the fore the extreme friction existing between the JD(S) and the Congress who are running a coalition government in Karnataka.
A few days ago, Deve Gowda opined that the coalition government was on the brink and a midterm election will be necessitated in the state. Of course, he recanted his statement later. But the damage was done, and it added to the bad blood between the two parties.
Deve Gowda's words also did not go down well with his son and the chief minister HD Kumaraswamy. However, Deve Gowda last Sunday (June 30) met his son and conveyed his displeasure over the shar response of the Congress party leaders to his own remarks.
This naturally added to the frustrations of Kumaraswamy, who finds himself in extremely choppy waters. At one level, he has to fight the fires within the family, at another he has to take on the minatory coalition partners. Amidst all this, the BJP, which is still the single largest party in the state assembly, is waiting on the wings and baying for Kumaraswamy government's blood.
So, last week, when Kumaraswamy was on a tour to some villages in Karnataka, he was on a short fuse. At Raichuru district, when a group of workers of Yermarus Thermal Power Station (YTPS) tried to raise slogans in support of their demands, an agitated Kumaraswamy lost his cool totally.
In a video clip that has gone viral now, he could he heard saying: "You vote for Narendra Modi and expect me to solve your problem.”
And as the situation got a bit more heated, he added: "Should I respect you? Do you need to be lathi-charged?”
This is a new low in the ever-plumbing standards of Indian politics: An Indian chief minister angry with the public for voting for a different party in the general elections. This reflects a very troubling mindset, one you can live with in a politico, but not in a chief minister.
A chief minister, by definition, is for the entire state. He or she should not see things through a political prism. Administration praxis is politics agnostic, at least in principle. Kumaraswamy's sullen outburst hits at the very root of governance.
It also reflects how opposition to the Centre and Narendra Modi in particular is making the political leaders lose their essential equipoise.
If a chief minister is going to play partisan politics with the general public then it is not a good augury for democracy as such. Kumaraswamy has set a dangerous precedent through ill-tempered and ill-thought words. Hope this does not catch on with other politicos and remains an aberration.
In their current mood, the Gowdas, in the fitness of things, should take it easy and chill. It is better for them. It is better for Karnataka.
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Last Updated 2, Jul 2019, 6:26 PM