Saturday, May 19, 2018

Victory of democracy

With the resignation of BS Yeddyurappa before facing the floor test, one thing has become clear that the truth has won. It is natural that the scenes of absolute jubilation spread across where the MLAs from both parties were seated in the Karnataka Assembly as Yeddyurappa announced he will tender his resignation at the Raj Bhawan. Above all this, the judiciary and the democracy played its role to save the constitutional values of the country. Had judiciary refused to hear Congress and JD(S) against the Governor’s invitation to BJP leader BS Yeddyurappa to form govt. with 15 days of time for floor test, the democracy would not have won the day. SC order cut short the 15 day period very drastically and directed just a day after hearing for a floor test. The office of the governor also must learn a lesson from this floor test that Supreme Court is there in the country so its arbitrary and partisan order cannot have its way. BS Yeddyurappa was given the invitation to form the govt. by the governor of Karnataka with 15 days time to prove the majority on the floor of the assembly on the basis of its being the largest political party with 104 MLAs. BJP had got only 104 MLAs 8 short of the halfway mark in the assembly of 224. On the other side, Congress and JD(S) struck a post-poll alliance as they got 78 and 38 assembly seats respectively. They struck an alliance to form the govt. But the Governor Vajubhai Vala did not give them the invitation. Congress moved to the Supreme Court at midnight and urged to put stay on Yeddyurappa’s oath-taking ceremony. Though SC did not put stay on his oath-taking ceremony of but asked him to present the letter of the invitation given to him to form the govt. and face floor test a day after at 4 PM. Congress swung into action very fast. On the one hand, it moved SC at midnight and took all its MLAs to a resort and from there to Hyderabad to protect from any bid of horse trading and poaching by the BJP to cobble up a majority. Congress and JD(S) succeeded in keeping its flocks together despite a lot of temptations and allurements allegedly by BJP. Under post-poll alliance between Congress and JD(S) in Karnataka, JD(S) leader HD Kumaraswamy has been elected leader of the coalition to form the govt. All this was done in the name of secularism. One thing has also shown the Nataka in Karnataka that Congress has become aggressive under the leadership of Rahul Gandhi. Its aggressive nature was reflected in the Rajya Sabha election of Ahmed Patel, Secretary of UPA Chairperson and former Congress President Sonia Gandhi. BJP president Amit Shah had tried his best to get him defeated but the rock like unity was shown by the Congress MLAs who were kept at a resort in Karnataka. Nataka in Karnataka clearly shows that howsoever powerful a person may be, he/she cannot subvert democracy against the will of the people in the state.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Karnataka looks at Governor's House

Karnataka has thrown up a hung assembly. No party has got a majority to form govt. on its own. BJP has emerged as the single largest political party in the state with 104 assembly seats, Congress comes second with 78, JD(S) got 38 and others got 2. Hardly had the results for all assembly seats declared when the Congress swung into action and offered unconditional support to JD(S) to form govt. with its leader HD Kumaraswamy as the Chief Minister. As it is said that once bitten twice shy, Congress was not in a position to leave any chance to keep BJP away from power. It had experienced in Goa, Manipur, and Meghalaya that despite emerging as the single largest party in all the three states, it failed to form govt. in any of the three. It is because of party's leadership complacency and lack of political maneuvering. But this time UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi herself took charge of Karnataka situation and talked to JD(S) Chief and former PM HD Deve Gowda about forming the govt. in Karnataka in the coalition. Supporting JD(S) and sacrificing the post of Chief Ministership for it is not new to the Congress. It was Congress in 1996 that it extended unconditional and outside support to HD Deve Gowda-led United Front Govt. at the Centre. It helped the father Deve Gowda become PM in 1996 and now it helps the son HD Kumaraswamy as the CM of Karnakataka by extending support to his party JD(S). Anything at any time can be possible in politics. BS Yeddyurappa-led BJP in Karnataka has already staked its claim of forming the govt. Kumaraswamy with the support of Congress has also staked his claim to form the govt. in the state. Now, the ball is in Governor's court. All attention is focused on Governor's House. Undoubtedly, the BJP has emerged as the single largest party in the state. But this must not be the sole criteria to invite it for forming the govt. with a rider that the floor of the assembly is the best place to test strength within a certain number of days. Here, it is open that the BJP has 8 short of a workable majority. When the entire nation is not convinced that BJP would be able to manage the required number of MLAs for the majority in the assembly, Governor should go by the rule book. If there will be the delay on the part of Governor's House in inviting either BJP or Congress-JD(S) coalition to form govt., enough space is there for horse trading and poaching of MLAs to cobble up the majority. Kumaraswamy and Congress have already charged BJP of trying to buy MLAs for more than Rs. 100 Crore. The situation demands that Governor must rise above party politics and do only what the Constitution says. Otherwise, by delaying in inviting the political party to form govt., there will be the open display of committing horse trading and poaching of MLAs of other parties to cobble up the majority. Governor should also take advice from the Constitutional experts and lawyers what he should do under the present political circumstances. Otherwise, democracy will be murdered in the broad daylight.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Cong's tactical mistake cost it one more state

Neither the BJP nor the Congress could get an absolute majority on its own. Former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda has clearly emerged as both king and kingmaker as his party JD(S) is expected to get 41. BJP is expected to 107 still 5 short of absolute majority in the Karnataka assembly strength of 224. The Congress party could get only 72. Counting is on and the number is based on the trend. Having been charged as complacent in cobbling up the majority in Goa, Manipur, and Meghalaya after emerging as the single largest party there, it gave way to BJP to form govt. But Congress this time has very quickly swung into action and offered support to JD(S) to form the govt. Congress and JD(S) leaders are expected to meet the Governor this evening to stake claim to form the govt. But the BJP is also not going to leave its claim of forming the govt. under the leadership of its Karnataka Chief Ministerial face B S Yeddyurappa after having emerged as the single largest party in the assembly. Congress has already sacrificed its claim of Chief Ministership in favour of JD(S) leader HD Kumaraswamy. The overconfidence of getting back to power by the outgoing CM Siddaramaiyah appears to have led the Congress party to defeat. Congress has lost the last bastion of Karnataka. So far as the leadership of Rahul Gandhi as Congress President is concerned, Karnataka assembly election was his first test in which again he could not get success, though the party was also facing anti-incumbency factor. In the face of the formidable rival like Prime Minister Narendra Modi whose oratory is par excellence and his ability to connect with the people is marvelous, it is very difficult for Rahul Gandhi alone to match him in any way at the public platform. He fails to charm the people. People have no attraction for him as they had for his father, grandmother, and great-grandfather. They had a natural attraction and connection with the ordinary people very easily. His sister Priyanka Gandhi has some attraction and ability to connect with the people. The demand of bringing her into active politics with a responsibility at the national level has been raising every now and then. Now the time has come for bringing her into active politics to counteract the growing influence of PM Narendra Modi on the youngsters. PM Modi’s magic has to be neutralized by the Cong leadership to win elections. Congress should have allied with JD(S) before the Karnataka assembly elections itself in the name of secularism. If it had done so, it would have got two-third majority. It should also have realized that it was carrying the baggage of anti-incumbency as it had ruled the state for the last five years. Here, the Congress party made a tactical mistake that cost it very dearly. Now, there will be assembly elections in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Chhattisgarh. In all these three states, BJP has been ruling. In MP and Chhattisgarh, it has been ruling for more than 10 years. But Congress has to go to elections with all precautions. Otherwise, PM Modi's electioneering itself creates a wave in favour of BJP. In Karnataka, Congress has not repeated the mistake it had made in Goa, Manipur and Meghalaya. So, it has rightly swung into action in time.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Rahul shows decisiveness

By expressing the desire of becoming PM if his party emerges as the largest one after the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Congress President Rahul Gandhi has shown himself as decisive to lead the Congress-led coalition government. It was said in the political circle with his entry in politics that he was reluctant to accept any position of responsibility in the govt. In the previous govt. of Dr. Manmohan Singh, the ministerial post was offered to him but he refused it outright. The Congress leaders, workers, and cadres all over the country appeared skeptical whether their President would shoulder the responsibility of leading the govt. at the Centre if their party emerged victorious in 2019. When during the campaigning of Karnataka elections, Rahul Gandhi said that he was ready to be Prime Minister of the coalition govt. if his party emerged victorious. Prime Minister Narendra Modi took no time in taunting him for expressing his desire. He called him arrogant and egoist. BJP described Rahul's PM ambition as daydreaming. Congress may be down but definitely not out. Rahul is the President of the grand old party which ruled the country for more than 60 years. Presently, it is the main opposition party of the country. In West Minister model of Britain, the leader of the main opposition party is the shadow Prime Minister. So, in democracy, whichever party gets a majority, its leader forms the govt. Rahul Gandhi has given the message to his party workers, leaders and cadres that he would not evade responsibility. His readiness to become PM will enthuse the party workers at the grass root level. PM Modi should not have responded to Rahul’s statement about being ready to be PM in this manner as to whether he is of prime ministerial material or not is to be decided by none other than the people of India. It is the people who are sovereign. Whoever they elect to power will become PM. BJP's oldest ally Shiv Sena has rightly said that Rahul has made no wrong by expressing his readiness to become PM. PM Modi should not have taunted him. Rather, BJP should work to defeat him in the Lok Sabha elections. The angry response of PM to Rahul's PM statement shows his weakness in the elections of Karnataka. The Congress party leaders and workers all over the country have now become assured that his leader would not shirk away from the responsibility of the nation. Rahul's prime ministerial statement will enthuse the party workers all over the nation. Even the prospective alliance partners of the Congress party have reacted favourably. No front of opposition parties sans Congress can form the govt. at the Centre without its support in 2019 in event of the defeat of BJP, the chances of which are the least. The electioneering for Karnataka assembly is to end today. Congress has put everything into it to retain the state on one and BJP's entire top brass in govt. and the party are campaigning there to throw Congress out on the other. On the last of electioneering, Rahul evaded the question related to his statement about his readiness to become PM while addressing the Press in Bengaluru.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Karnataka is likely to throw up hung assembly

The electioneering in Karnataka is in full swing by all the three contenders in the coming assembly elections. Ruling Congress in the state, Opposition BJP and JD(S) are major parties fighting the elections. All claim of their victory. Congress has to retain its power in the state to be in the reckoning in 2019 Lok Sabha elections. BJP has put everything into its campaigning to throw Congress out of power in the state and re-establish its feet in the southern state of Karnataka. Former Prime Minister Deve Gowda's JD(S) is also a political force that cannot be ignored. It may become either king or kingmaker in case of the hung assembly. BJP's star campaigner and charismatic leader Prime Minister Narendra Modi has started addressing rallies after rallies in the state. He has, undoubtedly, the ability to change the direction of the wind in his party's favour. He has shown this in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections. But the situation in Karnataka is different from that of Uttar Pradesh. Congress is still the number one party in Karnataka. In the beginning, Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave a clear indication of going closer to Deve Gowda's JD(S) by showing respect to him. He may have done so expecting the hung assembly in the state. But he has now taken U-turn and attacked it in the same vein as he did Congress. This may also be his political tactics to give the message to the electorates that BJP is going to win and form govt. on its own in the state. BJP's Chief Ministerial face former CM BS Yeddyurappa has shown overconfidence in an interview to a journalist that by saying that he is going to take oath as the CM of the state on May 18 itself. It may be his confidence or overconfidence which will become clear on May 15 the day when results would be out. PM Modi is an excellent orator and no opposition leader can stand up to him in the country. Entire BJP leadership is in Karnataka for campaigning to win elections. Congress President Rahul Gandhi has also addressed many rallies in the state. Crime and corruption is no issue in this assembly election. It is only because both BJP and Congress have given tickets to tainted candidates in the elections. BJP has given tickets to Bellary gang led by Janardhan Reddy while Congress has given a ticket to Anand Singh, who switched sides recently from BJP to Congress. BJP's CM face in the election is Yeddyurappa faced several charges of corruption, though now he is acquitted in all. 3500 Crore iron mining scam accused Janardhan Reddy plays important role in BJP. Then, where is the issue of corruption and crime? As far as the political personality of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah is concerned, he is certainly the top leader of the state. He is also most accepted by the people. He is also the single most popular leader of the Congress party. But the anti-incumbency factor is going against him. He has been the CM for the last five years. In the last four years his govt. has not done well in the state but in the last year his govt. has worked hard that has certainly caught the imagination of the people. Despite all that, neither the Congress nor the BJP is in a position to win the number of seats required to form govt. on its own. So, the chance of hung assembly is there in the state of Karnataka.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Election temperature up in Karnataka

With the date of Karnataka assembly coming near, the temperature is going up and up. The main contest is between the ruling Congress party and the opposition BJP in the state, but the presence of JD(S) makes it triangular. The electioneering by the star campaigner of BJP Prime Minister Narendra Modi began yesterday. It can be easily inferred from his speeches at election meetings in Karnataka that he wants to make it the tussle between Congress President Rahul Gandhi and him. His intention is to rake up the national issue rather than the issues of Karnataka. He even threw a challenge at Rahul Gandhi to speak at least 15 minutes extempore about the achievement of his party government in the state in the language of his choice. He dared him to speak in English, Hindi, Kannada and even his mother tongue. By asking Rahul to speak in his mother tongue, he appears to have tried to raise the issue of foreign origin, though it is a dead issue. Giving national colour to Karnataka election national, Prime Minister Narendra Modi presents himself and Rahul Gandhi before the electorate to make their choices. It is very clear that PM is far ahead of Rahul Gandhi in popularity on a personal level in any part of the country. While Congress wants the Karnataka elections to be always focused on the issues of the state. Congress understands well that PM Modi is an orator par excellence. His oratorical skills are incomparable in the country. No political leader in the country can stand up to him in delivering speeches. He has charisma which has already proved in the past by winning state elections after elections. So, PM's rallies may make a difference in favour of BJP. There is no talk of corruption in the Karnataka assembly elections when the BJP's Chief Ministerial face BS Yeddyurappa has faced several charges of corruption, though acquitted in all. Apart from that, BJP has re-inducted the infamous Bellary brothers Janardhan Reddy and others and gave them tickets. The gang of Bellary -led by Janardan Reddy oversees the poll campaign there. Bellary brothers are accused in 3500 Cr. Iron ore mining scam. In the given situation, BJP cannot talk of corruption in Karnataka assembly elections. So, PM Modi also never mentioned anything about corruption. It also appears from PM's hints of moving towards former PM Deve Gowda's JD(S) in case of the elections throwing up a hung assembly, his party would coble up the majority with it to form the govt. JD(S) has also a considerable presence in the state. So, it cannot also be ruled out altogether. Karnataka is Congress's last bastion. This is the only big state in the country where Congress has been ruling for the last 5 years. Karnataka assembly result would also determine Congress' claim to the power at the Centre in the 2019 Lok Sabha election. It is also a prestige issue for BJP to win Karnataka and stake claim for 2019. Its result will reflect what is to come next year in 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Politics of fast

The opposition Congress Party observed fast to express sympathy for Dalits, which the nation witnessed how they made a mockery of it. BJP appears to have realized that Dalits are not happy with its government at the Centre. So, to please them they decided to follow Mahatama Gandhi’s, the Father of the nation, belief, and conviction by observing fast to protest against the wash-out of Parliament by the opposition Congress party. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, his Council of Ministers, MPs, MLAs, leaders, and workers went on fast today in their respective areas or constituencies to protest the wastage of 127 hours and some minutes of parliamentary time by the opposition parties. BJP alleges that Congress is still not in a position to digest the humiliation in one election after another. That is why it is still trying to establish its dominance by disrupting the Parliament. It is good to move by the BJP to make the people aware of the parliamentary behaviour of MPs and MLAs belonging to opposition parties. But the ruling BJP also cannot be absolved of all faults. Their MPs and MLAs also cannot be given clean cheat and only opposition members will not be held responsible for washing out of Parliament and state assemblies by the ugly behavior of its members. The clapping cannot be possible by single hand. It requires both the palms to strike each other. It is also not correct to say that BJP had never been in opposition role in the past. It has also a long experience to be in opposition. Here it would also be better if it had introspected itself about its role when it was in opposition. It also created hurdles, caused disruptions, staged walk-outs and its members rushed into the well of the House over trifle. To run Parliament smoothly, the ruling political party has a greater role to play than the opposition. It is its responsibility to take initiative in running the Parliament swiftly. BJP blames Congress for all the ills in the country while the latter attacked the former for taking the country backward. Both are mostly engaged in the blame game. They are only busy with scoring political points over each other. Today's fast of the BJP is also aimed at assuaging the hurt feeling of Dalits because of the dilution in SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act by the Supreme Court. Mahatama Gandhi observed fast for the benefit of the people against the British misrule. He was also considered to be very close to Dalits. He had space in his heart for them and always stood in their support. The role of the opposition is to oppose the ruling bench on the basis of the importance of the issue. It must be constructive. Opposition for the sake of opposition must not be done. Fast is also not new to the country. First of all, Mahatma Gandhi used fast as a weapon against the mighty British rule. As he was opposed to violence, he observed fast many time in the recent past. The political class or party of today’s only follow him to win people’s favour with the nearing of elections