The state of Karnataka has been in the news for over a year now, and for all the wrong and agonizingly sad reasons. The State Legislative Assembly elections in 2018 did not give a clear mandate to any of the three prominent political parties of the state. But then, that has been quite the trend if you look that the two elections that happened in 2004 and 2008. In the last 15 years, the only leader to have led a party to a majority in the state has been Mr. Siddaramaiah who led the Congress to a majority in the 2013 elections.
Fast forward to 2019, where pursuant to the elections while the BJP did emerge as the single largest party, they clearly failed for gather the necessary support to form a government, despite which they did attempt to form a minority government that lasted for barely two days. The two day government fell when the Chief Minister, BS Yediyurappa couldn’t even gather the courage to go ahead with the floor test, and rather announced his resignation. But the BJP’s political treachery didn’t end there.
The BJP is developing a reputation that is a reflection of everything the Constitution of India stands against. Starting from alleged communal division to allegedly purchasing elected representatives by money or muscle power, whatever works. The way the central leadership has been orchestrating IT and ED raids on DK Shivakumar, the known trouble-shooter of the Indian National Congress in Karnataka and the subsequent filing of Sedition charges against two former Chief Ministers Siddaramaiah and HD Kumarswamy along with DK Shivakumar is a reflection of the levels to which the BJP can stoop to cling on to power in the state. But, these three leaders clearly remain unfazed by such intimidation tactics of the state and central leadership of the BJP.
In the aftermath of the deadly floods in the state, the people of those regions deserved development and rehabilitation; but BJP had better plans, and poached the MLAs from many of these regions which has warranted by elections at a time when relief and rehabilitation should have been the priority. But one can’t blame the BJP in isolation, because, if these elected representatives had an ounce of self respect they would have been in their respective constituencies during and in the aftermath of the floods. But well, they were busy enjoying the luxurious hospitality given by the now ousted Chief Minister of Maharashtra Devendra Fadnavis.
The people of all these assembly segments can see right through the money power being put right out, and there is growing certainty that the Congress and JD(S) will be the ones that would emerge victorious in these by elections albeit independently as both the parties are contesting these elections on their own. While I wouldn’t deny the existence of rumours of a possible tie up between both the parties, there hasn’t been any official confirmation from either of the parties. The only cue one could read into is the statement by JD(S) patriarch and former PM of India HD Deve Gowda who said, “.. what happens after election results, the supreme leader is Sonia Gandhi, what she will decide every body has to accept it in the Congress. We [JD(S)]don’t have any supreme leader. We have to see what happens after election result is out,”
This makes one thing very clear, the people of Karnataka and the Opposition political parties seem to be focusing on punishing the defectors (turncoat MLAs) in these upcoming elections by defeating them, while the BJP is trying hard to consolidate it’s majority by winning a minimum of eight seats. What is interesting to note here is that, BS Yediyurappa has ruled out any alliance or taking of outside support from the JD(S), but if one ought to take a trip down memory lane, one obvious thing is that you can’t trust a word of what BSY says, and at the same time we all know that the BJP can stoop to any levels to cling on to power.
(Aaron Mirza is an Advocate and Spokesperson of the Indian Youth Congress for Karnataka.)