Millennium Post

Democracy's victory or defeat?

The limping coalition government of Congress and Janta Dal (Secular) finally got to rest but not with the usual sigh of relief. Instead, it was a sign of exit as the Kumaraswamy government lost the confidence of the House in the prolonged motion for the trust vote. Six days of intense argument and discussion would have anyway led to collapse due to the affirmation of 15 rebel MLAs who conveniently abstained from attending the House proceedings. Kumaraswamy government got the confidence of 99 MLAs but failed in the eyes of another 105 present in the House. The House of 225 MLAs did not have the attendance of 20 which included the rebel faction. Ever since a video recording of the rebel MLAs denying participation in the House proceedings surfaced, a fall for Kumaraswamy coalition had remarkably become inevitable. The delay, one may say, might have been to make last-minute attempts to save the precariously held 14-month old government from shadows of adversity but sadly it did not yield, much to Kumaraswamy's dismay. In the end, it was the Speaker Ramesh Kumar pronouncing the lost confidence of the House in the chief minister and therefore, adjourning the House sine die. What followed was the resignation of the lost Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy and a warning from him for BJP. The unsettling calm on the face of the outgoing CM portrayed the fact that losing the government was not a surprising factor for him. Yet, his firm caution to the favoured CM from BJP–when it stakes a claim–B S Yeddyurappa that political stability would haunt him as reverse political defections were bound to begin soon, tarnished the image of Karnataka politics in general. It was Kumaraswamy's day to take a dig at BJP for allegedly engineering defections that facilitated the fall of the coalition government. However, celebrations in the BJP camp only drew a contrasting picture of competitive win and loss situation. What Rahul Gandhi cited, through his tweet, as a loss for democracy, Yeddyurappa hailed as a victory and that is how competitive politics will end anywhere. But tethered to the entire incident of someone losing and wining was the concept of degraded state politics. The behaviour of the rebel MLAs cannot be unseen. In fact, it became shadier after Kumaraswamy himself threw light on some details. While debunking rebel MLAs' claims that neglect for their constituencies was the main reason behind their resignations, Kumaraswamy furnished details of the huge quantum of funds for their constituencies received by those rebels in front of the Legislative Assembly. To provide insight, as per Kumaraswamy, every rebel MLA had been granted more than 100 crores for their constituency in the past year–some got more than 500 crores. With precise amount stated for front row rebels, Kumaraswamy pushed the rebel MLAs in front of an open window of criticism. Even if BJP attempts to put this as a loser's cry, statistics do not lie and so, RTIs may still reveal the real picture. And, as it stands, this alone is an important point by Kumaraswamy since most of the MLAs had held neglection of their constituencies as the predominant reason for their dissident. This inquiry will only further denigrate the situation of state-politics, which after the Karnataka Trust Vote, despite BJP's hopeful victory, paints a bleak picture.

Incumbency seems imminent for BJP and Yeddyurappa but Kumaraswamy's warning remains concerning, since being equally involved in the machinations of state politics–which is allegedly plagued with intense horse-trading instances–makes Yeddyurappa the ideal person to understand the underlying reality that Kumaraswamy may have hinted at. Though the Congress-JD(S) will be of the opinion that a mid-term election is a way out, BJP's claim will certainly ruin that option. The drama that unfolded in this past week has obviously put the state on the edge now and Yeddyurappa's incumbency will be severely tested, even if in a bizarre turn of events he manages to survive the storm that swept Kumaraswamy and his coalition government away!

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