Karnataka BJP grabs power but same old challenges continue to haunt saffron party

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Bengaluru,24 July: The Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP) has at last succeeded in its seventh attempt, thanks to ‘Operation Lotus’, to dislodge the 14 months old HD Kumaraswamy led Janata Dal-Secular(JD-S) and Indian National Congress(INC) coalition parties state government.

Perhaps the big difference this final time was that the mission was kept as a closely guarded secret, unlike the previous six times when all the BJP leaders, top and sundry kept on announcing day in and day out that the JDS-INC government is going to fall!

BS Yeddyurappa was sworn in as the Chief Minister for the third time soon after the May 2018 Assembly elections although the party had won only in 104 seats and was far away from the magical 113 number to prove the majority.

To suit the challenge before the party, Governor Vajubhai Vala gave a long rope of two weeks period to prove the majority. Irked by this prolonged time frame, both the Congress and JDS approached the Supreme Court.

Probably for the first time in history, the apex court sat the whole night and ruled the next morning that the BJP CM should prove his majority the subsequent day. Tied up by such fatal order, BJP leaders hardly got any time to poach the opposition parties’ legislators.

Ultimately what was expected during such junctures happened as none of the rival parties’ members preferred to change sides for green pastures. Congress had the strength of 80 while the JD-S could muster only 37 seats. One had won from the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) under a pact with the JD-S. Two Independents had also won in a house of a total of 224 members.

Thanks to the urgent orders of the apex court, BS Yeddyurappa failed to prove his majority on the floor of the house. Instead, he chose to resign without seeking a vote of confidence in the house.

HD Kumaraswamy then became the chief minister of the coalition government with the help of the Congress party. He had then claimed: Although the people of the state have not given me the mandate to govern, it looks like God has been merciful to me to become the chief minister once again.

This way the JDS-INC combine came into being for the second time in the state. While N Dharam Singh of the Congress had become the chief minister then and Siddaramaiah of the Janata Dal-Secular was the Deputy chief minister.

After 20 months, HD Kumaraswamy plotted a coup to unseat his party government only to become CM with the help of the Bharatiya Janata Party under an understanding of sharing power for 20-20 months.

But when the time came in to transfer power to the BJP, he refused to extend support and BS Yeddyurappa remained in power for a mere seven days and put papers.

HD Kumaraswamy, during the discussion on his vote of confidence motion in the state Assembly on 23 July claimed that the BJP never sought a vote of confidence to support. But he wisely forgot to mention that he never gave a letter to the Governor indicating his party’s support to the BJP government.

He claimed of not having failed in his words to hand over power to the BJP. But none from the BJP contested his claim as the party members had resolved to be mum during the deliberations.

BS Yeddyurappa is again set to be chief minister of the state for the fourth time but the sailing is not all that safe as being projected now. The state Bharatiya Janata Party is no saints’ party and the numbers of aspirants for ministerial berths are neither no less in number.

The saffron party already boasts of 34 former ministers apart from any numbers of new entrants to the developing list. Along with enthusiastic aspirants from the home turf, there are more than 15 people from the JDS-INC combine who are hell-bent upon being sworn in as ministers.

However, the sword of disqualification continues to hang on the heads of these party hoppers and KR Rameshkumar, outgoing speaker elected on a Congress party ticket is yet to pronounce his ruling on the same.

On the face of it, the path ahead to BS Yeddyurappa seems to be more of thorns and less of roses. At the same time HD Kumaraswamy, Siddaramaiah and DK Shivakumar are not people interested in resting as silent spectators.

All the three leaders spew venom against the party hoppers and have publicly declared on the floor of the house that they can never relish, digest or swallow the traitor acts to the parent parties.

So what they intend to do against such deserters is not known immediately. But one thing is for sure that they will keep gunning them wherever they are apart from trying to poach the vulnerable BJP MLAs’ to give back the saffron party in the same coin.