BJP should seek fresh mandate in Karnataka
Fourteen months after it was formed, the Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) government tumbled and the political scenario would again shift to uncertain...
Fourteen months after it was formed, the Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) government tumbled and the political scenario would again shift to uncertain politics, a trend that continued from May 18 last year when the Assembly elections threw up an inconclusive verdict.
The State BJP leaders got into an upbeat mood and celebrated by bursting crackers on Tuesday night. The Leader of Opposition Yeddyurappa stopped short of saying that he would be taking oath soon.
But now the way the Karnataka government has been tumbled has sent a message across the country that the BJP wants to march ahead and fly its flag high by tumbling some more governments. The talk in political circles is that the next target is Madhya Pradesh to be followed by Rajasthan and then it would fully focus on its second round of southern march by trying to gain ground in the two Telugu States.
The saffron party would use the ensuing municipal elections in Telangana as testing ground and if it succeeds in winning some and giving tough fight in other municipalities, then it would intensify its efforts to emerge as the major Opposition party.
The BJP feels that the Congress and JD(S) would now wash their dirty linen in open and would further damage their credibility among people. While the old timers say that what the BJP was doing is unethical, the BJP leaders in Karnataka are confident that they would be able to rule for the next four years.
However, there is one issue that could cause embarrassment to them. The party so far has been adopting the policy that anyone who was 76 should not be given any important post in the party or government. Prime Minister Modi had strictly implemented it. Venkaiah Naidu has been elevated as Vice President.
Leaders like L K Advani and Murali Manohar Joshi have been sidelined. Now the question is will it apply the same rule and disappoint Yeddyurappa since he too is 76 or will it exempt him. Though the BJP feels that the Congress and JD(S) will break up soon and the State will witness triangular politics and the ultimate benefit would be that of the BJP.
This may happen but then the party should not forget that what you do comes back to you. With bare majority of 4 or 5 MLAs, the Damocles' Sword of uncertainty would continue to hang over the head of State BJP.
Presuming that the BJP government will complete the remaining part of four years, the triangular politics would help the Congress more as people feel that the JD(S) had failed to deliver what was expected from them. No amount of tears which Kumaraswamy is known to shed may work with the people. One need not even be surprised if the JD(S) moves closer to the BJP by the time the State goes in for next elections.
Against the backdrop of this scenario, the BJP leadership in New Delhi has to now decide whether it should form the government or opt for dissolution of the State Assembly. The best option perhaps would be to seek fresh mandate though Yeddyurappa may feel disappointed. Such a move will help the BJP to earn name as a party that cares more for ethical politics.
With all the drama that had taken place in tumbling the coalition government in Karnataka, the saffron party has earned the dubious distinction of a party that was trying to establish its prowess by resorting to negotiable loyalties of legislators. The ten-day long high drama has indicated that what had happened in Karnataka was beyond horse trading.
It's a different matter that the refusal of the legislators to bite the bait of ruling coalition indicated their lack of faith in their future if they did not do what they did. They felt that by resorting to negotiable loyalties, they can remain in power politics for next four years.
The BJP's strong point is that it thrives in the State because of Yeddyurappa's clout in his upper caste Lingayat community and largely because of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's mammoth popularity that cuts across social and economic divisions. Hence seeking fresh mandate could help the BJP emerging as absolute winner and would help in providing durable government for next four years.