By Ashok Kumar
While the Karnataka BJP is observing the day as anti-mandate day, in a show of strength, a galaxy of opposition leaders and chief ministers descended in Bengaluru for the swearing in of H. D. Kumaraswamy of the Janata Dal(S) as Chief Minister of Karnataka. Chief Ministers of non-BJP states and head of regional parties, including West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao and his son KT Rao, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav, Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati, DMK’s Stalin and actor-politician Kamal Haasan also attended the swearing-in ceremony as a prelude to Opposition Unity. This and the fact that with major allies deserting BJP, the prospects of 2019 elections is becoming a big worry for Shah and Modi.
A huge podium was erected in front of the Vidhan Souda for the swearing in where all the non- BJP Opposition leaders had gathered in a show of unity. All old foes were friends today, one could see Mayawati ,Akhilesh Yadav and Sitaram Yechury along with Mamata Banerjee sharing the dais and exchanging greetings.
While H. D. Kumaraswamy of JD(S) – Congress combine has formed the Government in Karnataka, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is twiddling its thumb after the ignominious resignation by Chief Minister B.S.Yeddyurappa having failed to gather the required numbers to secure majority. The BJP is still hoping for some miracle to happen. It is reported that in the new arrangement, Karnataka Congress leader Mr. G. Parameswara has been sworn in as Deputy Chief Minister. None of the MLAs, both from the Congress and JD(S) was present at the swearing ceremony as they had been lodged in hotel rooms to thwart any horse-trading attempts by the BJP.
BJP’s stand throughout this drama has been that the party secured maximum seats and should be invited to form Government. Thanks to the Governor Mr. Vajubhai Vala the party did form the Government with a period of 15 days’ time to prove majority which the Chief Minister Yeddyurappa failed to muster. Yeddyurappa, as a saving grace, refused a floor test as directed by the Supreme Court of India and resigned. The Supreme Court cut short the time to seek majority from 15 days to 2 days. This has exposed the diabolic politics of the ruling party.
Though the BJP gained from 40 to 104 seats, the Congress lost seats from 122 to just 78. But Congress made a smart move to enter into a post-poll alliance with the JD(S) that had only 38 seats and offered JD (S) the chief ministership leaving BJP gasping for breath. The combine staked the claim but that claim was overlooked. This is not about numbers that gives Congress an upper hand but because the smartness it has shown in forming a post-poll alliance with JD(S) to stake claim to form government. And, what followed was the firmness by the combine not to allow its MLAs to be bought thereby reducing BJP to be a mere spectator.
It may be mentioned here that the Governor had been a BJP MLA in Gujarat earlier and had to oblige his masters and gave enough rope to Yeddyurappa to form the Government. But Supreme Court had other plans and cut short this period to only two days thereby closing all doors for Yeddyurappa to indulge in horse-trading. This was evident from the fact that unrepentant BJP supremo Amit Shah made a public statement that had the Cong-JD(S) combine not ‘imprisoned’ their MLAs, the BJP would have formed the government in Karnataka implying that horse trading was imminent. Even till the end BJP supporters and speakers during the TV debates were emphasising that Congress had lost the election and Yeddyurappa would form the government.
In similar situation in Goa, Manipur and Meghalaya, the Governor there did not invite the single largest party (Congress) but asked a combination of parties led by BJP to form the government. But in Karnataka, the rules were reversed.
(The fact that Congress and JD(S) MLAs did not defect despite the swearing in of Yeddyurappa made Shah and Modi worry. Says a senior BJP leader, “The way we are going, we have almost become radioactive for allies. Just imagine, Shah deployed unlimited resources and even used the central agencies to issue threats and yet a tiny regional party did not yield, adds thewire.in”).
It may be recalled that when Yeddyurappa was the chief minister in BJP government in Karnataka, the party had resigned in the wake of corruption charges in the mining scam and revived his Karnataka Janata Party in 2012. Now, the same BJP made him party’s chief minister candidate. Yeddyurappa is now reportedly headed for a role in party’s “Margdarshak Mandal”. But, he gives Cong- JD(s) govt just three months’ time. The Congress has now realised that if they had formed the alliance with the JD(S) earlier, they could have swept the polls.
With all ended and dusted nobody had expected the Governor politics in Karnataka, Goa, Manipur and Meghalya from the big-wigs of the ruling party that suits the party interests instead of following transparent politics.