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Karnataka 2018: A case for Govt formation by BJP

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Since the Governor of Karnataka invited B.S.Yedyurappa to form the Govt, I have been seeing a section of the public and intellectuals, unaligned to any of the parties, say that BJP shouldn’t form a Govt since it doesn’t have a majority in the house. This view has reached a crescendo after it was evident that BSY hasn’t been able to garner the support of any opposition MLAs. I also see some people arguing that BJP should have allowed the Cong-JDs combine to form the Govt and it would disintegrate sooner than later.

Probably I would have endorsed the latter opinion in any other situation, but not this time.  It was still early on the counting day, the trends were just starting to settle and not even 1/4th of the results were declared. The message of the results was fairly evident and that being, anti-incumbency had caught up with the Siddaramaiah Govt. and people’s will was towards a BJP Govt. Congress sensed that the results were according to one of the scenarios they had predicted. In desperation, they surrendered to the JDs. I don’t see much of a fault in it and the Congress wish of keeping the BJP out of power. But I was aghast at the response of the JDs. Maybe it was due to my expectation that, H.D.Kumaraswamy is different than his father and he would accept the mandate of the people, rather than play by his father’s wily tricks.

For people who think, there was no moral option in this mandate, sorry, but there were few. A BJP govt supported by JDs (as a coalition or from outside) or vice-versa. If JDs was really concerned about secularism, they could have just made that a red line and pull out support whenever BJP crossed it and then go with Congress.

Now coming to the issue of BJP forming the govt after being the SLP. I think it was their duty to the people who have voted for them. A party so close to a majority needs to honour its mandate and try to form the Govt. For those asking about the shortfall required to get a majority, I don’t see why or what’s so inherently wrong about BJP luring MLAs with the promise of ministries. I would like to make it clear here that I don’t endorse bribing with money or threatening them, as that’s illegal. But a share in the power or the MLAs dislike for the post-poll alliance, are legitimate reasons. After all similar reasons were used to prop up the post-poll alliance.

Some people may opine, if luring MLAs is allowed, then no Govt in the country can be stable and isn’t that why the anti-defection law was put into place. It’s my belief that, a system and set of laws, are required to provide a level playing field and to protect weak from being exploited by people with resources. But none of our political parties is weak and each of them would have used illegal or unethical means to fight elections. It can be using casteism or sectarianism or muscle power or money exceeding the EC limits. Hence, when there are such strong players in the political system, I don’t see why they need to be protected. It’s good and ideal if everyone follows the law and there is order. But you can’t and should not expect one side to follow it, while the other side violates it. Once parties realize, their MLAs can’t be controlled, they will start finding candidates who are loyal to the party ideology and who need not be controlled.

This would bring about a change in our system, rather than trying to make more laws, which create other grey areas and loopholes, to be taken advantage of by a future govt. Yes, there may be a period of further degeneration, but I think we need to see it as a case of creative destruction.

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