Kommineni Srinivasa Rao

It must be said that the Supreme Court took the right decision on Karnataka. The Governor of the state not only gave the BJP an opportunity to form the government, but also gave the party a window of 15 days to prove its majority. The Congress and the JD(S), outraged as they indeed were by this decision, got together making it even more difficult for the BJP to pass the floor test.

One important question which arises here is, even if the BJP proved to be the single largest party, why did it need extra time to prove its majority? It was also clear from the arguments in the Supreme Court that the party was on a weak wicket in the apex court. Similarly, the BJP's call for a secret ballot seems to be lacking in merit. The Supreme Court's verdict must be therefore, welcomed.

In the past, the Congress party resorted to such unconstitutional means and discredited itself. Former Atal Behari Vajpayee had to sit on a protest fast when the BJP-led Uttar Pradesh government was dismissed. But he became a target of criticism when the government in Bihar was dismissed. In 1996, the BJP emerged as the single largest party, but Vajpayee had to resign after the party failed to muster enough numbers. Again in 1999, the Vajpayee fell short of a single vote and collapsed.

Vajpayee's ethical stand earned the BJP a good name. In Karnataka, it is widely believed that the Governor erred in not inviting the JD(S)-Congress combine. However, the BJP will get a breather if the party manages to lure a few legislators over to its side, though its image will suffer a beating in the bargain.

In the final analysis, power makes up for all losses, in terms of damage to image or credibility.

In Tamil Nadu, the BJP went all out to protect the Palaniswamy government and failed. The Governor was faulted at that time as well, for waiting for the Sasikala case to unravel. Now again, it would be a huge loss of face for PM Modi and Amit Shah if the the BJP fails to establish its majority tomorrow when the curtain comes down on the very last act of the numbers game.

Both the BJP on the one hand and Congress-JD(U)on the other, will try their utmost to prevent the other from coming to power. Let us hope however, that floor test will pass off smoothly and a government established in Karnataka soon.