Alive - - Editorial -

As the new coali­tion gov­ern­ment sets in Kar­nataka and there is a fierce de­bate for plum min­is­te­rial po­si­tions, the Congress with 78 MLAs is hard pressed by the JDS to ward off the big­gest win­ner BJP from the power. It’s in­deed a loss for the Congress as even be­ing the big­gest in the coali­tion, is de­void of the Chief Min­is­ter po­si­tion.

H D Ku­maraswamy’s JD(S) with only 38 seats cap­tured the cov­eted CM chair. Though there is no pro­vi­sion in the coali­tion for ro­ta­tive CMs for gov­ern­ment for­ma­tion, the very act that the coali­tion has been formed to guard it against the BJP, the largest party win­ning in 104 con­stituen­cies.

If the col­la­tion fails, what most of them re­sult in In­dia, there will ei­ther be a re-elec­tion where the role of the gov­er­nor will be prime again; else there could be a pos­si­bil­ity that some of the MLAs from the Congress or from the JDS could de­fect from the party and join the BJP.

For Congress MLAs, the points of be­ing dis­grun­tled will be that they may not be able to get back their high spend­ing in the elec­tions, since Congress is not in the cen­tre of power and with­out the chief Min­is­ter port­fo­lio in Kar­nataka. The envy by the Congress work­ers to­wards the JDS work­ers will be more as they had fought elec­tion against each other.

Like other parts of In­dia, the caste pol­i­tics in south­ern In­dia has taken sev­eral tolls and the Kar­nataka Assembly Elec­tion 2018 is reeled with the pol­i­tics on the plank of castes ap­pease­ment and vot­ing strat­egy formed on the line of di­vi­sion among castes. Just be­fore the elec­tion, the Congress gov­ern­ment un­der the Chief Min­is­ter­ship of Sid­dara­ma­iah, the gov­ern­ment ac­corded mi­nor­ity re­li­gion tag to a dom­i­nant com­mu­nity Lin­gay­ats in the state. Things will al­ways be on tenterhooks with the caste pol­i­tics in the state. The fis­sures be­tween the Congress and JDS are ev­i­dent be­fore form­ing the gov­ern­ment in the state. The coali­tion be­gins with a trou­ble to reach at the agree­ment on deputy CM and its num­bers from the Congress side be­sides the plum min­is­te­rial port­fo­lios from both the part­ners.

Twelve years ago, JDS and the BJP had formed gov­ern­ment in the state on ro­ta­tional CM sys­tem for half time to each. But, af­ter the 20 months ten­ure of CM Ku­maraswamy from JDS, he had re­fused the BJP to ap­point its Chief Min­is­ter for the re­main­ing term of 20 months of the assembly. Look­ing at the past, the new coali­tion is said to be the lat­est one to ward off the BJP from the power for at least the next Lok Sabha elec­tions, which will be held in a year. Hence, till the com­ple­tion of 2019 Lok Sabha Elec­tion, the coali­tion gov­ern­ment in Kar­nataka can’t take any risk to part their ways.

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