It's been a rollercoaster ride for political parties in Karnataka since the beginning of this year. The tempestuous couple of months ended when the coalition government sunk after 17 rebel MLAs abandoned the ship. In a lull after the storm, each political party has been drifting on its own, while staring at possible bypolls to 15 constituencies.
In an interview with DH, former prime minister H D Deve Gowda predicted that Karnataka was likely see fresh elections instead of bypolls. In an apparent comment about BJP's unhappiness about the incumbent situation in the state, the JD(S) patriarch said it was not in the interest of Prime Minister Narendra Modi or Amit Shah to go for bypolls as it would create more rift within the party. There has been a conflict of interest within the party ranks over accommodation of the rebel MLAs.
"I feel that in all possibility, after Haryana and Maharashtra polls, they may think of going for fresh elections," he said.
However, he threw a word of caution that the final outcome was dependent on the Supreme Court's verdict in the case of disqualified MLAs. "Our stand has been that the disqualification of the rebel MLAs by former Speaker Ramesh Kumar should be upheld. In the meanwhile, the Election Commission knowing fully well that the matter is before the Supreme Court, announced elections unilaterally. We do not know why this has been done."
'Not soft on BJP'
After his recent visit to the Statue of Unity, Gowda lauded Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his initiative, giving rise to speculations about the JD(S) stance on BJP. However, he called such speculations baseless, adding that he had just appreciated a good initiative.
"I cannot say that Modi hasn't done anything. But it does not mean that he hasn't made mistakes."
Having drifted away from Congress, the JD(S) patriarch expressed displeasure with Yediyurappa's government, too. Recently, Gowda led a protest march flaying the government over inadequate flood relief measures.
He also rued that Yediyurappa had unfairly withdrawn several works initiated by H D Kumaraswamy during his tenure as the chief minister. He further stated the Yediyurappa taking oath as the chief minister was entirely "circumstantial."