After Kumaraswamy’s ‘tape’ entice of Yeddyurappa, Amit Shah ought to finish Karnataka’s botched Operation Lotus

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We know what a celebration normally must topple a authorities: suitcases full of money, plush resorts, guarantees of plum posts and thoughts video games.

But what does a ruling celebration want to save lots of its authorities from being toppled? Same as above, in fact — plus audio/video tapes if attainable. Sometimes, any one in every of these will do.

For Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy of Janata Dal (Secular) to rescue his coalition authorities from BJP’s onslaught, an 80-minute audio tape did the trick.

If ever there was a political sport changer, this tape was one. It supposedly proves that state BJP president BS Yeddyurappa was engaging MLAs of the Congress-JD(S) coalition with the standard guarantees of cash and minister’s jobs.

Nobody may be certain in regards to the authorized penalties of an inquiry by a Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the police that Kumaraswamy has ordered into the tape due to the well-known uncertainties over forensic authentication of recorded voices. But the tape’s political fallouts have been rapid and dramatic. Four insurgent MLAs of Congress and one in every of JD(S) returned to the coalition.

File picture of BS Yeddyurappa. AP

Though the menace to the federal government was largely a results of the interior squabbles over energy inside Congress, the tape turned the tables: it has helped the coalition defend its flock and has left BJP on the defensive. In view of the looming Lok Sabha elections, the audio additionally quantities to an enormous embarrassment for Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah.

The tape has the purported voice of Yeddyurappa providing cash and a minister’s submit to the son of a JD(S) MLA to influence his father to resign. It additionally has a voice, allegedly that of a BJP MLA, saying the celebration has taken care of Assembly Speaker Ramesh Kumar with a Rs-50-crore payoff and has even compromised judges in case the anti-defection legislation was utilized. Kumaraswamy launched solely a few audio clips on 8 February, however made a political killing on Wednesday by releasing the whole 80-minute tape.

There have been innumerable tapes of this sort earlier than in Karnataka, however this one is probably not solely the longest but in addition incorporates probably the most audacious try to purchase up MLAs. After first denying that the entire tape had been faked, Yeddyurappa later admitted he had certainly met the MLA’s son however mentioned the incriminating a part of the dialog had been concocted with a mimicked voice.

Return of the rebels

This has delivered to nought months of plotting by Yeddyurappa to destabilise the federal government by exploiting the dogfights inside Congress and JD(S) and between each the events. The failure of BJP’s so-called Operation Lotus is clear from the brand new celebration place within the Assembly, following the U-turn by rebels who’ve been staying in a Mumbai lodge for a month. Besides, one of many two Independents who had withdrawn assist for the coalition too is again in its fold.

This BJP now has the assist of 105 members within the meeting of 225 (together with the nominated member), and the alliance’s tally is 119. Yeddyurappa’s dream {that a} dozen or so MLAs would ditch the coalition, inflicting a collapse of the federal government, lies shattered. Even the half-a-dozen who appeared inclined to defect have now modified their minds.

The return of the rebels and the Independent to the alliance doesn’t quantity to a purification of their conscience after a diligent introspection of the morality of political defection. Nor does it imply a sudden aversion to energy which can have tempted them earlier. It merely means leaping from the fence to the aspect that appears greener or letting themselves be swept within the basic course of political wind.

Since the sport of toppling entails as a lot of psychological trickery as political musical chairs, the volte face by the rebels is bound to have a ripple impact on different potential dissidents, discouraging them from switching sides.

The upshot of all this for Yeddyurappa is that, if he certainly has the temerity to renew the Operation Lotus, he should begin from scratch. Or he should look ahead to both Kumaraswamy or the Congress leaders to do one thing silly that may set off one other spherical of riot, which is an unlikely prospect, until they’re bent on committing a political hara-kiri earlier than the Lok Sabha election.

There was no manner the BJP’s central management would have formally sanctioned Operation Lotus. Yet solely the naive can consider that the misadventure had no tacit approval from the Modi-Sha duo. It’s additionally amply clear that solely Yeddyurappa and his shut associates have been a part of it, whereas others within the celebration favoured specializing in elections.

Shah might have hoped that the autumn of the Congress-JD(S) authorities, whereas serving to Yeddyurappa fulfill his private ambition to turn out to be the chief minister as soon as once more, may facilitate BJP to enhance its 2014 Lok Sabha tally of 17 seats out of Karnataka’s 28. While the prospects in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Kerala are totally bleak for BJP, Karnataka is the one state in South the place it will probably moderately hope for a double-digit determine.

Shah has causes to be upset with Yeddyurappa and his faction for not solely botching up the operation but in addition for being too preoccupied with wooing of MLAs to do any helpful work in preparation for the election.

It’s fairly clear that each for the nice of his personal celebration and with respect for rule of legislation and democratic decency, Shah should name an instantaneous halt to this ignominy referred to as Operation Lotus. He should ask his partymen to stay to a extra authorized and ethical manner of conducting their politics.

Author tweets @sprasadindia

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