BJP’s loss political boost for Oppn

The hectic political drama that was staged in Karnataka last week had an anti-climactic end when B S Yeddyurappa resigned before the Assembly, voted on his motion of confidence. It was Yeddyurappa’s inglorious Vajpayee moment, repeated as a farce 22 years later, but it marked a victory for democracy, and showed that some of its vital institutions are still strong and the checks and balances in the system are working. The BJP had tried to form a government without the support of a majority in the House and the only way it could have mustered the numbers was by inducing defections from the Congress and the JD(S). The party’s plan for this, implemented with the help of Governor Vajubhai Vala, who swore in Yeddyurappa and gave him 15 days’ time to prove his majority, was foiled by the Supreme Court, which ordered that Yeddyurappa should prove his majority within a day. But for the court’s intervention, the denouement would have been different. 

The propriety of the Congress and the JD(S) forming a coalition may have been arguable, but the illegality of the BJP forming a government when the JD(S)-Congress coalition had the numbers, was clear and beyond question. Yet, the BJP’s attempt was sought to be justified with flimsy and self-serving arguments. The party which claims to be fighting corruption was exposed as wheeling and dealing and using underhand methods to induce or coerce legislators to abstain or resign. The appeal to conscience was a ruse. The actual appeal was to greed or fear, or both. It is a fearful situation when a party that rules at the Centre and in most states, uses such wrong and dubious methods just to capture one more state, violating established norms and principles, subverting institutions, cynically misrepresenting facts and misleading people. The Governor’s position has also become untenable after he became complicit in the political plot. The BJP said the alliance between the Congress and the JD(S) was an unholy nexus, forgetting that the party has entered into post-poll alliances with other parties in the past in similar situations to win power. The real unholy nexus was between the Governor and the BJP. 

The Congress showed quick reflexes to save the situation from going beyond reach and control, the JD(S) was not found wanting, and both parties did well to protect their flanks from poaching and erosion. The defeat of the BJP provides a political and psychological boost for the Opposition and may have consequences at the national level. The Karnataka experience may have an impact on the future plans of both the BJP and the Opposition. 

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BJP’s loss political boost for Oppn

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