Ploys at play
Following the house-arrest machination played by both BJP and Congress to prevent horse-trading amidst heightened political tension in Karnataka, matters escalated with the introduction of an audio clip by Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy. The contents of the audio clip rocked the state assembly with BJP chief BS Yeddyurappa featuring in a purported conversation to lure a JD (S) MLA in his alleged attempt to topple the Congress-JDS government. Much has already surfaced regarding Yeddyurappa's alleged efforts to destabilise the almost nine-month-old coalition government but the entry of audio clip provides a paradigm shift to the allegations as well as the lotus party's intention in the southern state. The recorded telephonic conversation was between Yeddyurappa and Sharan Gouda as the former was trying to woo the latter with money and other offers on the table. Taking up the matter in the assembly, Kumaraswamy took the speaker Ramesh Kumar's advice to form a SIT and have it probe the matter to reveal the truth. Having his own name brought in the chaos, Kumar was rather anxious about the allegations that had surfaced against him. In the purported conversation, there was a mention of about a "Rs 50 crore offer to book" the speaker to accept the resignation of MLAs, thus aiding BJP in bringing down Kumaraswamy's government. Kumar's wishful allowance to constitute a SIT in this episode also signifies his concern to have his name cleared since his earnest career stands blemished over the audio clip row. Even the members of the assembly recognise Kumar's integrity which has been brought at stake here. Kumaraswamy's eagerness over SIT and the lotus party's dissent over such a probe are both equally comprehensible. While Kumaraswamy, through the SIT probe, may establish how the saffron party has been making inroads to topple his government, BJP's dissent hints at their apprehensions of an expose. Yeddyurappa's opposition of the SIT probe was to assert the inappropriateness cast by having an agency under CM to probe the matter. His apprehension implicitly cited how SIT may be used for "political vengeance". Taking the misuse of SIT as a probable situation under consideration, the speaker told Kumaraswamy that "this should not lead to a witch-hunt. The probe should be only to establish the truth". Yeddyurappa believes that this audio clip row was CM's plot but he cannot unsay what has already been heard by many. Coupling this with his earlier attempts, the picture for the people of the state is rather clear on who is trying to do what in order to gain from the administrative crisis that may be caused due to defections.