This government deserves to go. I think it has stayed way beyond its expiry date. How long should Karnataka put up with a government that hobbles from crisis to crisis, engineered by MLAs who aspire for nothing but their naked individual ambitions. Where managing demands from the lawmakers instead of the voters is a 24×7 job for the CM.
This government was founded on making backdoor entry look legitimate by flashing the secular card. If there was one certainty about the mandate of 2018, it was that the Congress had been clearly rejected by the people of Karnataka. The problem however, was that neither the BJP nor the JD(S) had secured the nod from the voters either. Arithmetic won over moral science and the Congress and the JD(S) formed the government, thinking over a period of time, they would get their chemistry right as well.
But in the ABC of realpolitik, A usually stands for Ambition, B for Backstab and C for cunning. This is the fineprint of the script that is playing out in the political theatre of Karnataka at the moment.
Was the present crisis triggered by as many as 14 resignations (at the time of writing this piece) engineered by the BJP? While the needle of suspicion pointed at the saffron party and they have been understandably gleeful at the turn of events, a look at the profile of some of the rebels tells you they are actually Siddaramaiah loyalists. From the look of it, more than one player seems to have tried to pull the rug from under Kumaraswamy’s feet.
Though Siddaramaiah has denied any role in how the so-called loyalists have behaved, the JD(S) leadership is livid that the former CM is trying to sabotage the government from within. After the abysmal performance of the Congress-JD(S) combine in the Lok Sabha elections where they won just 2/28 seats, the cracks began to show. A section of the Congress saw no point in continuing to support a junior partner while losing its base in the Old Mysuru region which was always seen as the JD(S) pocketborough. Siddaramaiah’s own personal enmity with the Deve Gowda parivaar is the subtext to the crisis.
There is also the G Parameshwara angle to the significant number of MLAs from Bengaluru resigning. The deputy CM incharge of Bengaluru development, according to a report in the Times of India, had cut down on the discretionary fund of the Bengaluru Mayor from Rs 150 crore to Rs 40 crore. The Mayor is known to be man of former Home minister Ramalinga Reddy, who is now one of the leading lights of the rebel camp. The Congress is hoping if Parameshwara is sacrificed, it will succeed in getting back as many as four MLAs back into the fold.
At the same time, the fact that one of the two Independents H Nagesh who was sworn in as a minister last month in a bid to shore up the strength of the government, has resigned on Monday shows the wind is blowing against Kumaraswamy. For all practical purposes, this government is now in a minority.
Nagesh flew to Mumbai in a special chartered flight after tendering his resignation, quitting the cabinet and supporting the BJP. Do chartered flights come so cheap that an independent MLA can afford it? If not, who is paying for his airfare? This tweet seems to tell a story.
The two ruling parties are trying to do a Mr Fixit by offering to make the rebels ministers in the government. All the Congress ministers have decided to resign as part of this restructuring of the government. If this so-called peace formula works, it would only confirm what most people have suspected all this while. That Karnataka politics is actually an Indian Political League auction.
The tragedy is that it is Karnataka that is going under the hammer. The state needs a spell of President’s rule because even if the BJP tries to cobble together the numbers, it will only be by doing business with the Congress and JD(S) legislators who do not come cheap.
And, yes H Nagesh as well who is moving like a pendulum trying to ensure he gets his timing right.