WILL KUMARASWAMY RE-ENACT DEVE GOWDA'S 1996 STORY?
In 1996, Janata Dal’s HD Deve Gowda, a regional satrap with just 44 seats toppled Vajpayee in the Prime Ministerial race; it was about a third of what the Congress had (136). Today, Yeddyurappa faces the same threat from his son, Kumaraswamy.
The ongoing political drama in Karnataka is a Deja vu for JD(S) leader HD Kumraswamy. In 1996, BJP's Atal Bihari Vajpayee did not have the requisite numbers in the Lok Sabha but still formed a government.
He expected a few Congress MPs to either switch loyalty or abstain from voting. When neither happened, he had to relinquish office after a historic and impassioned speech during the trust vote.
The man who toppled Vajpayee was HD Deve Gowda, then a regional satrap with just 44 seats – about a third of what the Congress had (136).
Ironically, Yeddyurappa now faces the same threat from his son, HD Kumaraswamy.
The similarities do not end here. Gowda was in no race in 1996. The crown was thrust on him when he was chosen as the consensus candidate for a secular United Front (UF); coming to the present, Kumaraswamy was also was not in the race for the chief ministership because of his poor numbers. However, he was suddenly propped by the Congress that had more than twice as many MLAs.
Sources say it was Sonia Gandhi's idea to re-enact the 1996 model after she had a brief chat with Deve Gowda soon after the re- sults indicated that BJP may not be able to make it in Karnataka.
But HDK must watch out. Just two years later, the Congress withdrew support to Deve Gowda and he fell flat never to recover. Will that happen to his son in Karnataka is to be seen.
HD DEVE GOWDA (L) AND ATAL BIHARI VAJPAYEE