Oppn sees road to 2019 in Karnataka poll outcome

Oppn sees road to 2019 in Karnataka poll outcome

As Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) move ahead to form the next government in Karnataka after Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa skipped a floor test and resigned, Opposition parties feel it could herald a pan India larger Opposition alliance of regional parties with the Congress.

Indications are that a galaxy of Opposition leaders will attend the swearing in of H D Kumaraswamy as chief minister on Monday, in an apparent bid to showcase it as an occasion of Opposition unity.

After Gujarat, where BJP managed to retain power with a narrow margin, the coming together of Congress and JDS in Karnataka is being touted as a major dent to the perception of BJP's invincibility.

While Congress President Rahul Gandhi merely said, “We, the entire Opposition, will together oust the BJP,” other Opposition leaders openly talked about its fallout on 2019 politics.

'Democracy wins'

Mayawati, whose party BSP had fought Karnataka elections in alliance with JDS, expressed her glee at the coming together of Congress-JDS-BSP in the state and said, “Entire Opposition has come together to pour cold water on the plans of the BJP. That is why they (BJP) faced this setback in Karnataka.” One BSP MLA got elected to the state Assembly this time.

Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee, who had been pitching for a federal front for some time, tweeted, “Democracy wins. Congratulations Karnataka. Congratulations DeveGowda, Kumaraswamy, Congress and others. Victory of the 'regional' front.”

Banerjee called up Kumaraswamy and congratulated him. Kumaraswamy in return invited her for his oath-taking ceremony on Monday. Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, whose party TDP broke away from NDA in March this year after four years of being alliance partner in Modi government, also hailed Yeddyurappa's resignation as “victory of democracy”.

“As a Chief Minister and as someone who believes in democracy, I am welcoming this,” Naidu said on Twitter.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal trained guns on BJP for “attempts to subvert democracy” saying they “miserably failed” in Karnataka, while former JDU chief Sharad Yadav said the BJP's failure to install its government inspite of all its tactics is a great win for democracy and “unity of opposition parties.” His colleague Javed Raja went a step further saying Karnataka developments on Saturday indicates “countdown for Modi government has begun”.

“The road to 2019 leads from here,” said JD(U) General Secretary Danish Ali.

Grand alliance in UP

While Yeddyurappa, who delivered an emotional speech in the state assembly after quitting claimed that the BJP will now win all 28 Lok Sabha seats in the state, a senior Congress functionary said that the coming together of Congress-JDS will ensure the alliance win in at least 22 of the 28 seats. “The message from Karnataka is that we will not hesitate to back regional parties if we are unable to form government anywhere to checkmate the BJP,” said a leader.

Congress is already showing flexibility for a grand alliance in UP. BSP and Congress have not fielded any candidate for Kairana Lok Sabha by-poll in UP where SP-RLD alliance is contesting against BJP. In poll-bound states of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, Congress will be reaching out to BSP and other smaller parties. In Gujarat, division of votes, particularly by BSP, was believed to have cost Congress dearly in some seats.