It would be day-dreaming to expect Karnataka results have an impact on Jharkhand elections

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It’s been a respite for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) which saw its clout jolted in Maharashtra and also to a certain extent, in Haryana where they were left with no option other than seeking support from the JJP to form the government. And the BJP top brass has no one but veteran Karnataka leader BS Yediyurappa (BSY) to thank for writing the ship at such a crucial juncture. The not-so-expected results in Karnataka have definitely bolstered the party with an eye on the future polls.

At a time, when the BJP is facing flak over a depleted economy, deteriorating law and order and the contentious Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) and the National Registrar of Citizens (NRC) among others, a one-sided victory in the bypolls in the southern state gives Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah a shot in the arm. Nobody could imagine that Yediyurappa who reportedly lost favour with the high command, would be able to steer the party to victories in 12 seats out of the 15 where bypolls were held after 17 Congress and JD (S) legislators defected to the saffron unit bringing the Congress-JD (S) government under HD Kumaraswamy down and ‘propelling’ Yediyurappa back to the CM’s seat that drew criticism from his opponents.

The Supreme Court verdict that found the defected legislators guilty of violating the anti-defection law, however allowed them to contest the elections, much to the jubilation of the Yediyuruppa camp which was fighting a lone battle with absolutely no support from the national leaders.

Modi who was earlier miffed with YSY, has hailed the mandate and also blamed the Congress for ‘subverting’ the earlier results to stitch an unstable coalition with the JD (S). However, the learned Prime Minister must be deliberately overlooking the fact that it is his party which has made it a habit to go against the mandate be it in Goa, Manipur, Maharashtra and even in Karnataka where shifting of loyalties of Congress-JD (S) MLAs was ‘orchestrated’ by the BJP machinery.

The results brings forth two key issues that cannot be decried- the BJP comeback in Karnataka is a wake- up call not just for the saffron wing but also for the opposition – Congress-JD (S). Secondly, the victory has reinforced people’s desire for a stable government and not an administration run by an amalgam of outfits standing on different sides of the ideological spectrum. The failure of the Congress-JD (S) government is a testimony to stability and not precariousness. And in this context the Grand Old Party’s alliance with the Shiv Sena and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) in Maharashtra will also come under scrutiny. We will come to it later.

It’s celebration time for the BJP unit in Karnataka which has proved all pre-poll predictions wrong. But elaborating on the wake-up call factor, it is important for the party not to misuse the verdict and stamp its authority with developmental works that were hampered due to ‘constant consternation’ between the Congress and the JD (S) at the behest of former CM Siddaramaiah. If Modi is harping on stability, the BSY government has to lend credence to it.

Modi who was earlier miffed with YSY, has hailed the mandate and also blamed the Congress for ‘subverting’ the earlier results to stitch an unstable coalition with the JD (S). However, the learned Prime Minister must be deliberately overlooking the fact that it is his party which has made it a habit to go against the mandate be it in Goa, Manipur, Maharashtra and even in Karnataka where shifting of loyalties of Congress-JD (S) MLAs was ‘orchestrated’ by the BJP machinery.

Without taking political sides, when Modi preaches honesty and boasts of political ethics, he should introspect into what led his party to resort to machinations to grab power by hook or crook in several states despite the people’s mandate going against it. Similarly, he would be day-dreaming if he expects the Karnataka results to have an impact on the polls in Jharkhand and Delhi, two states that run on different political dynamics.

Maharashtra is a glaring example of how the ruling party at the centre ‘cajoled’ NCP leader Ajit Pawar to lend his support to a Devendra Phadnavis-led government at a time when the stage was all set for the Sena-Congress-NCP combination to stake claim. However, BJP’s misdemeanour turned out to be a damp squib with Maratha strongman Sharad Pawar pulling the rug from under its feet leading to the swearing-in of Uddhav Thackeray as the CM.

Without taking political sides, when Modi preaches honesty and boasts of political ethics, he should introspect into what led his party to resort to machinations to grab power by hook or crook in several states despite the people’s mandate going against it. Similarly, he would be day-dreaming if he expects the Karnataka results to have an impact on the polls in Jharkhand and Delhi, two states that run on different political dynamics.

As regards, the impact of Karnataka on Maharashtra, the trio running the state should take a leaf out of Karnataka’s book and ensure that vested interests do not have a telling effect on the functioning of the government in a state where people’s grievances are only piling up. In fact, the Sena-Congress-NCP team should take one of Modi’s many reactions after the Karnataka bypolls seriously. “They spent the whole one-year squabbling. Congress held the chief minister at gun-point and the poor CM would go to people crying. They (Congress) made the condition of the CM of Karnataka worse than somebody who has been kidnapped,” said Modi while campaigning in Jharkhand.

That is the point to be noted – keeping the CM on tenterhooks 24×7 would only belittle his position which could cut the partners sorry figures in people’s eyes.

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