Karnataka MLAs poaching row: BJP’s ‘Operation Lotus’ fails to bloom, however menace to Congress-JDS coalition persists

It appears the obituary was written far too prematurely for the BJP’s so-called ‘Operation Lotus’ to dislodge the Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) coalition authorities in Karnataka. Even because the BJP prolonged the confinement of its MLAs in Gurugram by a day or two, the Congress on Friday night time quarantined its legislators in a luxurious Bengaluru resort. The Congress determined to maintain its MLAs in secure custody after 4 legislators didn’t present up on the legislature social gathering meet earlier Friday. The 4 abstentions are too few to pose a direct menace to the coalition authorities, however sufficient to ship recent jitters by the Congress camp, contemplating the alliance’s skinny margin.

Earlier than the disaster started, Congress and JD(S) had a energy of 118 members in an Meeting of 224 (towards BJP’s 104), whereas the mark of easy majority stands at 113. Of the 4 who didn’t present up, one stated he was “too sick” to make it, and one other claimed he was busy with a court docket look. Two Independents supporting the federal government appear to be perched — fairly conveniently — on the fence. State BJP president BS Yeddyurappa is retaining his hopes up of ousting the federal government in order that he can exchange Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy of the JD(S), with the silent approval from his central leaders, who consider that grabbing energy in Karnataka may give BJP an edge within the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

On the face of it, it appears the BJP has a tricky activity to get the numbers it wants. Even when the 4 MLAs who gave the Congress assembly a miss proceed their defiance, no less than 9 extra should desert the social gathering to destabilise the federal government. It will decrease the goal of a easy majority within the Meeting to a stage that is simpler for thr BJP to achieve. However what retains Yeddyurappa’s hope alive is that the mess within the Congress of its personal making is critical sufficient to make extra dissidents weak to the allurements that the BJP is dangling earlier than them.

File photograph of Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy. ANI

But, the BJP can hardly declare the ethical excessive floor on this sordid drama. The saffron social gathering is as scrupulous because the burglar saying he tried to empty a home as a result of the household was busy squabbling. It is too early to declare that the federal government is secure or is about to fall. With both sides guarding its flock to stave off poaching by the opposite, the one factor sure at this level is that the curtains have not fallen on the nataka in Karnataka.

Karnataka’s 4 wars

Within the regular circumstances of an Opposition attempting to topple a authorities, the ruling social gathering proving its flock is unbroken — kind of —ought to finish all confusion. However nobody is saying that the mess in Karnataka matches into the conventional template of political coups. That’s as a result of this disaster just isn’t a easy case of BJP combating the Congress-JD(S) mix and attempting to interrupt its seven-month authorities. It’s not only one struggle: There are 4 wars being fought on the identical time. The obvious one is between BJP and the alliance. The second is the struggle between Yeddyurappa, who’s in a rush to take the seat of the chief minister, and his enemies inside his social gathering who need to go away the federal government alone and deal with profitable the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. The third struggle is between JD(S) and Congress over who calls the pictures within the authorities. And the fourth and probably the most horrible tussle is among the many totally different factions of the Congress.

It’s the Congress infighting that almost all threatens the longevity of the coalition authorities. At its very centre is Siddaramaiah, whose tenure as chief minister ended when the Meeting elections in Might 2018 threw up a hung verdict. Left to his personal gadgets, Siddaramaiah would have retired to the sidelines to lick his electoral wounds. However Congress president Rahul Gandhi come across the thought of producing a miniature mahagathbandhan for Karnataka. Rahul thrust on his social gathering an alliance with JD(S) to earn himself accolades as the one man able to saving India from the “evil designs” of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his BJP.

However Siddaramaiah didn’t know what hit him when Kumaraswamy, the son of his one-time political godfather and arch enemy HD Deve Gowda, grew to become chief minister. And G Parameshwara, a Dalit chief of Congress for whom Siddaramaiah has no explicit love, grew to become  deputy chief minister. What additional added to Siddaramaiah’s chagrin was that DK Shivakumar, an higher caste Vokkaliga chief of Congress and one among India’s richest politicians, started to flex his political and financial muscle mass and earned himself the nationally telecast title of “troubleshooter” by thwarting Yeddyurappa’s try and steal Congress MLAs after the election.

When all this occurred, Siddaramaiah embraced Deve Gowda and his son Kumaraswamy. However that was just for the TV cameras. Behind their backs, Siddaramaiah had different concepts. Simply what these concepts could be, Karnataka is discovering solely now. For his half, Rahul stored Siddaramaiah in good humour, retaining in thoughts his backward courses clout. Siddaramaiah declared himself on Twitter to be the social gathering’s official “troubleshooter”.

However it was alleged that when there have been no troubles for Siddaramaiah to ‘shoot’, he created them: in order that he may very well be seen to be busy sorting them out. The newest bother Siddaramaiah created was by appropriating for his acolytes ministerial berths within the 22 December cabinet expansion. However this grew to become an excessive amount of of a fireplace for even him to douse. That was when the unique troubleshooter Shivakumar stepped in, and it grew to become a query of who held the social gathering in his palms. And as this went on, Deve Gowda and Kumaraswamy took the matter into their very own palms. Gowda had a heart-to-heart speak with Rahul, whereas Kumaraswamy commissioned Congress leaders to speak to disgruntled MLAs.

This meant that the JD(S) chief minister himself grew to become a 3rd troubleshooter. This, for Siddaramaiah, was two troubleshooters too many. However dissidents fell in line after apparently being promised Lok Sabha tickets, ministerial berths and freedom to switch officers as they happy (of their constituencies). This was to not Siddaramaiah’s liking. Then got here Siddaramaiah’s transfer to name the assembly of the legislature social gathering — as its chief  — to inform Kumaraswamy who managed the destiny of his authorities. Which was to not Kumaraswamy’s liking.

In the course of all this, Kumaraswamy bemoaned on Thursday that “it’s my misfortune to be serving because the chief minister in a coalition authorities for the second time. Therefore, I’m unable to ship programmes as anticipated by the individuals.” This may sound suspiciously just like the melancholic outburst of a chief minister beleaguered by enemies out to topple him, but it surely was an adroit approach of telling the world —notably Rahul — that the disaster has the Congress hand written throughout it.

That’s the place issues stand at this time. However because the final line of Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With The Wind goes: In any case, tomorrow is one other day.

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