Editorial

Nataka in Karnataka

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 7/8/2019 12:35:56 PM IST

 Right after the indecisive 2018 verdict where  no party obtained even a simple majority which compelled both  Congress and JDS to form an opportunistic and unholy marriage of convenience  under the specious plea of ‘keeping the BJP out’; the unholy marriage has been  functioning in an unnatural and uncomfortable manner from day one. The BJP emerged as the  single largest party in the 2018 assembly elections winning  104 seats. The incumbent Congress government was defeated and managed to win 80 from the 122 it held while the JDS won 37 seats in a house of 224. With the support of two independent and one BSP member, the Congress-JDS managed to cobble 120 members for a post-poll coalition. The Congress and JDS had a coalition government in 2004 but it fell when H.D.Kumaraswamy Gowda defected and joined hands with BJP  to form the government. The coalition again collapsed as Kumaraswamy refused to give the BJP the post of chief minister on rotation as agreed. The present crisis-ridden Congress-JDS coalition has been wracked with public spats between the two partners. Just within two months after formation of the present coalition government in May 2018, Karnataka chief minister, HD Kumaraswamy broke down at a public event in July  last year saying he was not happy working with the Congress and that he became “Vishkanth (Lord Shiv) and swallowed pain of this government.” The coalition has never been problem-free. Kumaraswamy has become unpopular even within his own party MLAs while the Congress has also been wracked by inner tussle for dominance between former chief minister Siddaramaiah and AICC general secretary –in-charge of Karnataka K.C.Venugopal. Congress leaders are presently jobless, such as former union minister  Veerappa Moily  and former CPP leader Mallikarjun Kharge , both from Karnataka have also been playing their own games. This has only added more problems for the faction-ridden party. Congress MLAs owing allegiance to Siddaramaiah have frequently openly attacked Kumaraswamy, criticising him for his style of functioning and praising the former chief minister and floating their view that   the coalition would work better if Siddaramaiah was made Karnataka chief minister. The Congress-JD (S) alliance went into the Lok Sabha election as a divided house. Several Congress MLAs were unhappy and so were the JD (S) leaders. Umesh Jadhav, the Congress MLA, joined the BJP ahead of Lok Sabha election. The BJP won 25 of 28 Lok Sabha seats routing the ruling coalition. It was a massive blow to the shaky coalition and matters took a turn for the worst after Rahul resigned as AICC president, owning responsibility for the poll debacle. This only provided the spark needed by the dissidents to look for greener pasture in the BJP camp. Political analysts believe that the Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) are responsible for the Karnataka crisis. While the daily bickering within both the Congress and JDS parties as well as the open criticisms in the media had led to some resignations, the Congress and JDS did nothing to quell the rebellion and when they finally did, it was too little and too late. The BJP has so far made at least six unsuccessful attempts on the Karnataka government in the last one year, but it seems that this time,  it is most likely to succeed. And the Congress and JDS should be credited for it and not the BJP. 

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