Saturday, October 27, 2007

Now the JD(S) wants to support the BJP in Karnataka

Just around 20 days after the BJP and the JD(S) parted ways in Karnataka, and that too after a bitter quarrel with Deve Gowda hurling all sorts of abuse against the BJP, and the BJP calling the entire JD(S) a party of back-stabbers and betrayers, it seems likely that these 2 parties will form an alliance as if nothing has happened, with the JD(S) letting the BJP have the Chief Ministership of the state.
This is a tremendous deal for the BJP, since they have never been close to power in any of the Southern States (in fact, they do not have much of an electoral base in Kerala and Tamil Nadu).And it is even more pronounced because the BJP has been in a sort of slow melt-down after it lost power nationally in 2004, and it was a massive blow to the party when it became clear that the JD(S) was not willing to transfer power to the BJP and would break the agreement.
Well, if things now go according to plan, and if the Governor is able to overcome the feelings of the Congress and bring back the assembly from the suspended state it is in currently, then the BJP will finally have its first Chief Minister from a southern state.

The BJP staked claim to form a Government in Karnataka after its former coalition partner JD-S did a somersault, pledging its support to the saffron party-led regime.
BJP sought revival of the state Assembly which has been kept under suspended animation following the collapse of the JD(S)-BJP coalition ministry headed by H D Kumaraswamy. The BJP had then withdrawn support after the JDS failed to honour the power sharing pact. Strengthening the BJP's claims for government formation, former Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy submitted a letter to the Governor extending support to the saffron party.

And all of these machinations and dealings are all to do with party politics. When the time came for Kumaraswamy to give up power to the BJP, his father Deve Gowda was unwilling to give up power, and using an excuse of bad behavior by BJP ministers, the transfer never happened and the assembly was suspended. Part of the calculations would have to do with trying to woo the Congress to extend support. Such a move would have enabled the JD(S) to remain in power.
However, the Karnataka Congress believes that Deve Gowda is an unstable ally and forming a Government with him was not a very profitable opportunity; and soon the assembly was frozen. What the Deve Gowda and clan had not counted on was the second line of leaders and MLA's. Whether it be Kumaraswamy or the BJP's man B S Yediyurappa who was the Chief Minister, the MLA's would be able to make their living in the same way. So a state of suspended animation without a Government was no good. And so, with MLA's becoming restive, some of them approached the Congress.
This was scary to the JD(S) leadership since given enough incentive to the MLA's, if they split off, the JD(S) would be dramatically reduced as a force. And hence this sudden support to the BJP.

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posted by Ashish Agarwal @ 12:15 PM