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Forget Operation Lotus, Karnataka coalition was a non-starter since day one


Bengaluru, July 24: When the JD(S) and Congress came together to form the government in Karnataka 14 months ago, many had on day one predicted a quick collapse.

14 months later, the H D Kumaraswamy led government lost a trust vote 99 to 105. It was always said that the fate of the coalition would largely depend on how the 2019 results would shape up. Thanks to the big mandate that the BJP got in 2019, the party witnessed a resurgence in Karnataka as well. Moreover the Lok Sabha numbers in Karnataka were extremely impressive for the BJP. It won 25 of the 28 seats. The Congress, JD(S) and an independent shared a piece each.

Forget Operation Lotus, Karnataka coalition was a non-starter since day one

For starters, the coalition was viewed as an un-natural one. The Congress and JD(S) have been traditional rivals and share a common vote bank in several pockets especially in the southern part of the state.

With the fall of the Karnataka coalition, it is now 'Congress mukth South India'

Be it the Lok Sabha or assembly polls of 2018, the workers on the ground have never been on the same page. Both are extremely suspicious of each other and feel that one is out to outdo the other. The experts have always maintained that the coalition has done more harm than good for both the parties, especially at ground level.

The other reason for the collapse is thanks to internal opposition. The likes of Siddaramaiah were never happy with the coalition. He felt that the Congress was giving away too much to the JD(S), which wound up with just 37 seats. Also one must not forget the bitter rivalry between him and the Deve Gowda family. He had quit the JD(S) owing to this rivalry.

Many within the Congress also felt that too much had been given to the Gowda family.

There were allegations of the family controlling the government and giving too less to the Congress. This led to rebellion and several MLAs from the Congress resigned. This was also coupled with the several statements made by Kumaraswamy, who made it look as though he was compelled to be the Chief Minister. He had said on several occasions that he was in pain and was swallowing poison.

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Experts say that the coalition tried everything to pull on. However it was the results in the Lok Sabha elections that was a turning point. The Congress and JD(S) came together to fight the LS polls based on simple math. They were expecting a perfect vote transfer. Dr. Sandeep Shastri, leading political scientist says that in an alliance a chemistry at the top is not enough. The chemistry should transfer to the ground as well and in the case of the JD(S) and Congress that never happened.

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