End this shameful drama now

DH Photo/Anup R Thippeswamy

The serial political crisis in Karnataka has continued for so long that governance in the state has taken a back seat, and even the daily administration has been badly hit. Everybody in the government, including the chief minister, the deputy chief minister and the ministers, and the MLAs, and the ruling parties and the opposition party are busy either trying to prolong the life of the government or to bring it down. Some of them may not still be sure where their interests lie — in ditching the side they are on now or in moving away and taking the plunge into the unknown, because whatever be the promises that are made and the size of the suitcases that they are shown, there may still be an element of risk. But the time-honoured and proven business principle that nothing is gained without taking a risk may guide most of our honourable legislators and ministers.

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Ever since two Congress MLAs resigned last week, the crisis has deepened and widened. The trickle became a torrent, with 13 more, both from the Congress and the JD(S), joining the deserters, and some of them sheltering themselves in protected surroundings outside the state. Monday saw another resignation, this time by a minister who has been in the government for just about a month. There are reports of more people leaving and some people coming back. Ministers are said to have resigned also, making room for the rebels to occupy the positions. All leaders are meeting other leaders and others to find out what is happening and what can be done. The numbers being bandied about, like 105 or 119 or 13 or 14, do not make sense as long the situation remains fluid and uncertain and till it is clear who is where and with whom. 

But, what is very clear is that the people of the state did not vote for this confusion and uncertainty, and for the lack of government, not just of governance. The government has never been steady, nor has it worked well ever since it came to office last year in fortuitous circumstances. It had problems within and had troubles and challenges from outside. The claim that it is crumbling under its own contradictions is only a part of the story. The bigger story is of personal ambition, induced defections, greed, private motives and contempt for all scruples and norms of politics and governance. The people of the state deserve better, and this tamasha should end now. The cost of all this is to be ultimately borne by them. There is a bigger concern, too: politics and parties are out of joint, and it is getting harder by the day to set them right.

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