Kommineni Srinivasa Rao
The three-day drama which unfolded in Karnataka came to a close with Yeddyurappa's resignation. The BJP had to suffer humiliation in the end. No matter what Yeddyurappa said before the floor test was to be taken up, he did a good thing by bowing out in the end. In fact, it was foolhardiness to try to form the government without the required numbers. Trying to woo Congress and JD(S) MLAs over was another blunder.
Governor Vajubhai Vala gave ample room for horse-trading by inviting the BJP instead of the Congress, JD(S) alliance. The entire episode has dented the BJP's image, and that of Amit Shah PM Modi. Perhaps, the only saving grace is that after failing to muster enough numbers, the BJP can now claim that it did not indulge in horse-trading as is being alleged. It is worth speculating how things would have panned if the BJP had offered the Chief Ministership to Kumaraswamy first off. Instead of attempting to do so, it tried to form a government on its own and failed in the bargain.
Congress which had tried this experiment (of forming a government on its own) in Goa, seems to have learnt from this lesson. It wanted to keep the BJP out at any cost and hence forged this post-poll alliance with the JD(S). Though it is overdoing the celebratory part of it, as if it had won more seats than the actual numbers show, it badly needed this moral boost.Though the Congress is directly not coming to power, it seems to have accepted the situation.
Former prime minister and JD(S) leader, veteran politician, Deve Gowda could become a prime minister with only 18 MPs and his son, similarly, has now become the chief minister with only 38 MLAs.This leaves him at the mercy of the Congress. When it comes to constituting the cabinet and such key decisions, it appears that he will enjoy very little leeway. Though, the Congress prefers to keep a low profile for now, with 78 MLAs, the party is bound to feel that it is the bigger of the two allies.
If this alliance completes its full term in Karnataka, that would be a commendable development. The role of the apex court is being hailed across all sections in the country. Both the Congress and JD(S) could keep their flocks intact because the Supreme Court had slashed the two-week window given by the Governor to the BJP, to a day.
It is widely being felt that the role of the governor in such situations should be defined to ensure that all governors across the country act in a uniform fashion, with very little leeway for his own discretion. Otherwise, there is every possibility of such controversies rearing their ugly head again repeatedly. Some major political reforms are also needed. In the final analysis, the BJP's loss has proved to be a victory for democracy, as has been pointed by several analysts.