oppn parties Kumaraswamy Exits, Sorriest Episode In Karnataka Politics Comes To An End

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  • Flipkart assures employees that there will be no job or salary cuts due to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Although it was obvious, but the government still clarifies that there is no need to switch off appliances and only lights need to be switched off on April 5 at 9pm after confusion in the minds of some people
  • PM Modi and President Trump decide "to deploy full strength of (Indo-US) partnership" to fight against COVID-19
  • 17 states have reported 1023 cases of coronavirus linked to the Tablighi Jamaat, which translates to 30% of all positive cases in India
  • The government says people should not use alcohol-based hand sanitizers before lighting diyas or candles on April 5
  • The railways say there is no certainty yet when services will resume after the lockdown and a final decision will be taken in the next few days
  • As coronavirus cases multiply in Assam, six north-east states seal their borders with the state
  • Power System Operation Corporation Ltd. (POCOSO) putting all systems and protocols in place at war-footing to ensure there is no grid failure due to reduction in demand on April 5 at 9 pm
  • Power ministry scotches rumours that the power grid might fail due to the 9-minute blackout called by PM Modi on Sunday, April 5
  • Centre asks people to wear home-made masks if it is absolutely essential for them to step out of homes
  • Centre asks states to allow licensed street vendors to sell essential items
  • 8000 samples were tested across India on April 2, but the government said that testing will be need-based and will not be used as a confidence-boosting measure
  • Air India operating special flights to fly passengers stuck in India since the lockdown
  • For the first time in history, Darjeeling loses first flush tea due to suspension of garden work for Covid-19 outbreak
  • Supreme Court asks journalists to be responsible and publish only the official version of news after it was brought to its notice that migrant exodus started after the 'fake' news that the lockdown will be extended to three months
Total count stands ar 3082 as India records 16 Covid-19 deaths, the highest in a single day
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Kumaraswamy Exits, Sorriest Episode In Karnataka Politics Comes To An End

By Sunil Garodia

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.

Finally, the sordid drama that was being played out in the Karnataka assembly has ended? Or has it? Although the HD Kumaraswamy-led Congress-JD(S) government has fallen and most probably a BJP government led by BS Yeddyurappa will be installed in its place, will it be able to rule the state undisturbed? For, it will be dependent on Congress and JD(S) rebels as it has only 105 MLAs of its own in a house of 224, unless it manages to win at least 8 of the 16 seats that will have fresh elections as a result of the resignation of 16 MLAs from the Congress-JD(S) alliance. But will the BJP be able to absorb the rebels in its rank and give them tickets from the same assemblies? Will its local leaders allow that? These are interesting questions that will decide the fate of the BJP government if it takes up the challenge.

What will also be keenly watched is what the BJP does with the rebels who have helped it to come back to power. For, the drama being staged in the Karnataka assembly (and before that in the Speakers' chamber and the Supreme Court) was essentially over the status of the rebel MLAs. The alliance wanted the Speaker to disqualify them to prevent them from becoming ministers in any new government led by the BJP. If their resignations are accepted, they can become ministers and then stand for election within six months. But if they are disqualified, they will first have to be reelected in order to get a berth in the ministry. But the issue has now become pointless as there will be a new Speaker and he will be from the BJP fold. He is likely to accept the resignations.

The Congress and the JD(S), despite knowing that they did not have the numbers, kept delaying the trust vote only to teach the rebels a lesson. They tried all the tricks in the book, including threats, coercion, trying to influence the Speaker and trying to use the Supreme Court to get relief. But nothing worked for them. With the Supreme Court deciding not to hear the plea urgently and also not to interfere in the constitutional authority granted to the Speaker, the legal route was closed. The Speaker, too, decided to work at his own pace and did not take any decision on whether to accept the resignations or to disqualify the rebels. The rebels did not budge from their original stand, despite the Congress and the JD(S) agreeing to meet most of their demands, including changing the chief minister. The alliance also tried to bribe them by offering them plum posts, but to no avail.

 HD Kumaraswamy should have resigned once it was clear that the numbers were against him. He would have then held the moral advantage and could have gone hammer and tongs at the BJP for having engineered the defections and bringing down his government. But as things stand now, Kumaraswamy will be remembered for having presided over the sorriest episode in Karnataka politics. One feels that after this, the Deve Gowda clan and the JD(S) have a very bleak political future. They have paid a huge price for trying to hit above their weight by insisting on the top post when forming the alliance with the Congress. Most state Congress leaders and MLAs were not in favour of that and some of them brought down the government once it became clear that the alliance had lost the people's trust after the drubbing it received in the Lok Sabha polls.