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Sonia-Rahul’s foreign trip: snubbing Kumaraswamy or setting a trap?

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One week is an eternity in Politics. Yet Sonia and Rahul will not be in India for more than a week.

They were last seen in public, during the swearing-in ceremony of HD Kumaraswamy, the new CM of Karnataka. The official reason for their foreign sojourn is Sonia’s yearly health checkup. We wish all the good health to her and hope she is hale and healthy.

What are the hidden reasons behind this sudden, prolonged and rather curious absence from India? There are some “not so official” reasons for her absence:-

1. Agree to Kumaraswamy’s political”dowry” demand’s, but set the agenda with a “big fat powerful wedding”!

We all know what happened in Karnataka after the hung assembly verdict.

BJP lamely tried to outsmart Sonia while Sonia, in turn, outsmarted BJP, albeit successfully.

Sonia had the direct “1 am” lifeline to  Supreme Court Justices’, which in spite of ruling Centre and 20 odd states, BJP lacks to this day. Worse, BJP cannot even get a proper hearing in any court. Hats off to Sonia’s ecosystem!

(To hell with the millions of Indian undertrials who are yet to see a day in court in-spite of rotting in prison for decades. Some smart “neta” must make this legalized injustice an election issue.)

Long story short currently we have a Sonia supported UPA government in Karnataka lead by HD Kumaraswamy, who has a measly 38 seats out of 224 seats in the assembly.

Here in lies the finer print. Unlike other UPA allies, Kumaraswamy smartly negotiated directly with the Gandhi’s. (read Sonia, with Rahul smiling sheepishly). No one, not even senior bigwigs like Ghulam Nabi Azad or Mallikarjun Kharge or Siddaramaiah were good enough of Kumaraswamy for the negotiations.

This is a classic power tactic. A small lord who insists on negotiating only with the Queen, in one single stroke cuts all the big lords to size. This is exactly what happened.

Sonia knew this.

She also understood that Kumaraswamy must be bluffing when he said he does not want to be the CM. So she allowed him to have his little power games, for the time being.

Meanwhile, she made sure a big swearing-in ceremony is held in the presence of all the opposition bigwigs. This is akin to a marriage which is always a public celebration, thus indirectly making sure that the bride and groom will stick to each other, as they had made a public commitment to one another.

This was not only a major media spectacle across India, but was keenly watched by every Congress and JDU voter in Karnataka. Now Kumaraswamy has to think at least a 1000 times if he wants to walk out of this marriage.

Even if he walks out after such a “public marriage” he might permanently lose the valuable “Muslim minority” vote in Old Mysore region of Karnataka, which is his base.

Why do you think PFI met CM Kumaraswamy after the swearing-in ceremony? Was it not an subtle blackmail:- “Stay with Sonia or else…!”

(Since it’s all Sonia’s planning, Rahul gets no marks)

Sonia 1 Kumaraswamy 0 Rahul 0

2. Underline your presence by your absence:- force Kumaraswamy to negotiate with lesser lords!

Kumaraswamy has to negotiate with the likes of Azad, Kharge, Moiley, Antony etc as Sonia and Rahul are not in India. This cut Kumaraswamy to size at the negotiating table.  As he started negotiating with the lesser lords about the cabinet formation, he lost his negotiating power.

He is increasingly looking weak and desperate coming out with the statements like “CM chair was forced on us”. He also declared that he is at the mercy of Sonia and “Punyatma” Rahul.

Sonia and Rahul are nowhere to be found, yet their power is everywhere especially at the negotiation table.

Sonia 2 Kumaraswamy 0 Rahul 0

3. Set a trap to Amit Shah?

Kumaraswamy won the confidence vote on the floor of the assembly. Now all UPA supporting MLA’s are relatively free.

Amit Shah’s “mythical” appetite for more MLA’s is well known. As Sonia is out of town and UPA MLA’s out of their jails, Amit Shah might try some tricks

Who knows some of these UPA MLA’s are ready with some hidden devices to ensnare BJP bigwigs? We have seen how “fake tapes” were used to discredit BJP leaders immediately after the election results.

This will work only if Kumaraswamy plays along with Sonia.

Sonia 2.5 Kumaraswamy 0.5 Rahul 0

4. Hide Rahul from failure, yet claim victory if everything goes as planned.

Rahul will not get any negative for this, yet claim a positive score when the time comes. Hence 0 score for him, for the time being.

Sonia 2.5 Kumaraswamy 0.5 Rahul 0

5.  What can go wrong in Sonia’s absence?

Of course, this whole plan can blow up badly in Sonia’s face.

This happened in 2013 after Telangana was formed.

  • In 2013, KCR went to congratulate Sonia after the formation of Telangana state.
  • He wanted to merge his TRS party with Congress.
  • In return, he was expecting the CM ship.
  • Sonia did not want to negotiate with a lesser lord like KCR.
  • Sonia calmly asked him to talk to AP in charge Digvijay Singh about it. (a lesser lord)
  • Digvijay acted smart during the negotiations.
  • KCR felt snubbed.
  • He angrily returned to Telangana, fought the 2014 elections on his own and won handsomely
  • Now he is the undisputed king of Telangana, at least till the next elections.

Hence one more reason for their absence, as failure can be thrust on some of the lesser lords who actually did the bulwark for her.

Looking forward

Kumaraswamy must realize that Sonia too needs Karnataka badly. Once he realizes this he can regain the upper hand in the negotiations.

Further, he has Amit Shah who is ready to embrace him wholeheartedly.

In such a scenario Sonia’s “1 am Lifeline” to Supreme Court might not work wonders.

But for the time being, this scenario is a “big if”.

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