Retrospective into K'taka Power Transfer

Written by: Pragathi
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Personal aspirations unraveled the whole dirty game in K'taka politics. Fearing a tantric's ultimatum of  'now or never the CM', Kumaraswamy with 40-odd JD-S supporters submitted a letter withdrawing support to the 20 month-old Dharam Singh-led government.

Deve Gowda's worst dream had been realised! His own son toppled the JD-S and Congress govt in the state giving rise to an hope of alternate Government (JD(S)-BJP). Kumaraswamy surprised everyone when he joined hands with BJP to form a new government considering JD-S party had been labelling BJP as 'communal' all along.

But, it was expected, at the least! The sudden political upheaval in the state was a result of growing discontentment in the JD-S regarding the Congress support to All India Progressive Janata Dal (AIPJD) leader Siddaramaiah in the recent taluk and zilla panchayat elections.

Let's refresh our memories here. Siddaramaiah, a former Deve Gowda loyalist, was deputy chief minister before he fell out with Deve Gowda and was removed from his post and the party in 2005. Siddaramaiah then floated a federation of minorities, backward classes and dalits and formed the AIPJD.
The continual support of Congress to AIPJD angered many young turks in JD-S. This young faction of  Janata Dal (Secular), led by H D Kumaraswamy, third son of party supremo H D Deve Gowda, withdrew support to its coalition partner, the Congress.

First Coalition in the state

As the 2004 assembly results gave no majority to any of the political parties, the Congress and JD-S, setting aside their political ideologies, joined hands to form the first ever coalition government, claiming that the mandate was for installing a 'secular government.'

Lets just look at the the following nos.... In the  224 member Karnataka Assembly;

  Name of the Party
 No of seats
         BJP       79

The fractured verdict in the 2004 assembly polls in a way provided an opportunity to all political outfits to enjoy power for the first time in the history of the state. BJP for the first time came to power but it  resulted in sharing of power 'by rotation.'

The  pull-down of Dharam Singh Govt

The resignation of 40-odd JD-S members forced Dharam Singh to prove majority on the floor of the House. Dharam Singh after being prompted thrice by the Speaker to call for trust vote failed to do so. The house was adjourned sine die.

Governor T N Chaturvedi failed to give him time citing technical reasons. Dharam Singh tendered his resignation the next day telling 'I'm not power hungry'.

The JD(S)-BJP coalition and the final unfolding

BJP for the first time came to power in South India. JD-S with the support of BJP formed a coalition government. JD-S rebel leader Kumaraswamy was sworn-in as the 18th Chief Minister of K'taka. While BJP's Yediyurappa took oath as Deputy Chief Minister.

However, it was no cakewalk. Kumaraswamy had to seek  vote of confidence to comply with the directive of the Governor to show that he commanded majority within 8 days of assuming office.

He did so with thumping majority and within 5 days after assuming office. A total of 138 members voted in favour of the motion, moved by Kumaraswamy, and 66 against it. The support mustered by the Kumaraswamy ministry went beyond the projected combined strength of 126, comprising BJP-79, JD(S) 37, JD(U) and independents 5 each. The combined tally of 138 is well above the magic figure of 113 required to enjoy simple majority in the 224-member house.


The BJP and JD-S struck an alliance on the pattern of Congress-National Conference government in Jammu and Kashmir.

Accordingly, Kumaraswamy will head the government for the first 20 months after which a BJP nominee will take over for the remaining term of 20 months.

Under the agreement, the BJP will have 18 ministers, including Yediyurappa, while the JD-S will have 16, including the Chief Minister.

With stars in the eye, Yediyurappa dreamed of taking over power after 20 months. BJP rejoiced. But, the dreams started disintegrating. Bickerings began as the deadline of Oct 3 for power transfer loomed  near.

And then the unthinkable happened!

Kumaraswamy who was promising to stand by his words deterred! Just a month before power transfer, Kumaraswamy outright rejected giving any 'promise' to BJP. Deve Gowda fueled the controversy by saying that it is Party's responsibility to look into it not a person's.

The thin veil of superficial accordance fell. BJP dared Deve Gowda not to transfer power. 'Tu-tu mein-mein' began....  Meetings, discussions, ultimatums and then the BJP withdrew support to the coalition govt. K'taka is again poised under the sword of polls. If no single party gains majority, then.... history will repeat!

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