By R Murali
Now that the coalition government in Karnataka has fallen, all that we can do is sympathise with H D Kumaraswamy. Just after the state Assembly results were out last year, not even in the wildest of his dreams, Kumaraswamy would have imagined that he would get a chance to take over the mantles. Given the fact that Janata Dal (Secular) could manage 37 seats, chances were feeble and the former chief minister was aware of it.
When Congress, with 78 seats in its kitty, offered conditional support to JD(S) to form the government, little did Kumaraswamy realise that the coalition government may not last long? Giving in to pressure from all quarters, he had to accept Congress’ offer, though reluctantly. What transpired in the last 14 months since the coalition came into existence is there for all to see. Political pundits are pointing a finger at some senior Congress leaders who engineered the fall of the Kumaraswamy government.
The former chief minister had time and again complained he had no freedom to exercise his duties as the chief minister. Apparently, every decision he had to make had to get clearance from the Congress leaders. Given the Grand Old Party’s culture, it took little time for Kumaraswamy to realise he was on a sticky wicket. Having blundered getting into a shoddy coalition with the Congress, all that he could do was to bide his time.
JD(S) pretty well knew Congress was out to see the back of Kumaraswamy sooner or later. If sources are to be believed, Rahul Gandhi was advised against the continued alliance with JD(S) which could jeopardise Congress’ very presence in the state in the long run. JD(S) supremo H D Deve Gowda had also complained to Rahul about state Congress’ leaders’ damaging statement against the chief minister time and again. On his part, Rahul turned a blind eye only to signal the inevitable to happen.
If 15 MLAs from Congress and three JD(S) decided to quit, there could be many reasons. There are complaints that BJP offered them money in crores, but it is tough to prove. What is intriguing is most of these MLAs are staunch supporters of a senior Congress leader. Given this scenario, it could be true to a large extent, without any doubt, that some Congress leaders could have plotted the coup while trying to put the blame on someone else.
In a sudden development on Friday morning, Union Home Minister and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief Amit Shash, it seems, gave green signal to BJP state president B S Yeddyurappa to stake claim to form the government. With 105 MLAs on his side, Yeddyurappa has a tough job on hand in the days ahead.