HAS BJP WON OR LOST?
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.