Bengaluru, May 18: Amid all the political drama underway in Karnataka, former Prime Minister and Janata Dal (Secular) (JD(S)) supremo HD Deve Gowda decided to get some "spiritual solace" as he visited the famous Tirupati temple in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh on Thursday evening. Incidentally, Gowda turned 86 on Friday. We wish him good health and longevity on his birthday.
Pictures taken by shutterbugs of ANI showed Deve Gowda and his aides leaving the premises of the temple after finishing all the rituals on Thursday night.
While many would like to think that the JD(S) patriarch's visit to Tirupati temple is a ritual which almost all politicians do on their "special days", the political chaos in Karnataka adds extra focus on the whole religious exercise by the former PM.
Speaking to reporters, JD(S) chief said, "I am praying to god to give me strength and I am praying to god for a solution (Karnataka political uncertainty)."
In the past few days, after the Karnataka Assembly election results were declared on Tuesday, a fractured mandate catapulted the entire Deve Gowda clan into the limelight. After its disastrous performance in the polls, the Congress decided to form an alliance with the JD(S) and stake claim to form the next government.
Deve Gowda's son, HD Kumaraswamy, was selected as the chief ministerial candidate of the new political association. In spite of not having the required number of seats to provide a stable government in the southern state, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) "successfully thwarted" all the attempts of the Congress-JD(S) alliance. The "secular alliance" claims to have the support of at least 118 MLAs in the 224-member Karnataka Assembly. The BJP, on its part, has 104 seats with it.
On Thursday, BJP's BS Yeddyurappa was sworn in as the new CM of Karnataka. Karnataka governor Vajubhai Vala has given Yeddyurappa 15 days to prove his majority on the floor of the house.
The entire process of inviting the BJP, which has to get the support of at least eight MLAs in the coming days, has been questioned by various legal and constitutional luminaries. The BJP maintains that the governor did the right thing as the saffron party has emerged as the single-largest party in the elections.
The members and supporters of Congress and JD(S) staged protest against the BJP and Vala in various parts of Karnataka on Thursday. A massive protest was staged by the Congress and the JD(S) outside the Vidhan Soudha (Karnataka Legislative Assembly) building, where around 118 newly-elected MLAs took part.
The dharna, right near the massive Mahatma Gandhi statue, saw participation of Deve Gowda, his son Kumaraswamy, former Congress CM Siddaramiah and senior Congress leaders like Ghulam Nabi Azad.
After the decision of Vala kick-started debates over resort politics, horse-trading, defection and operation kamala or operation lotus (a term coined by the BJP back in 2008 to win over MLAs from the opposition parties) in Karnataka, the Congress and the JD(S) decided to take all their MLAs to Hyderabad and Kerala to avoid their poaching by the BJP.
As the fate of Karnataka and Deve Gowda family hang in balance, probably "god" can only help to end the turmoil which saw its repercussions across the nation by Thursday evening.